Steve's China Blog

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Winter weather in ChengDu

It has been snowing here in ChengDu every day for a week or so now.

Most days it's just a little flurry that doesn't last long and some days it snows all day. Luckily the ground is not frozen, so the snow is not sticking most of the time. On Monday morning there was snow on the ground though...

It didn't last very long though. It was gone by lunch time. Some people in the office have been saying that the last time ChengDu had a big snow flurry was five years ago. Some people are saying that the last time snow stuck to the ground was sixteen years ago. And everyone is saying this is the coldest winter in fifty years. In fact, a lot of China is getting a lot of bad winter weather. Here's one article about all of the fun...

Chinese snow storms strand 200,000 at station in new year exodus

Driving sleet, freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow across southern China have paralysed trains and aircraft, stranding tens of millions of people trying to get home for the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar.

Luckily, the weather in ChengDu is not too bad considering what everyone else seems to be getting. One thing that is strange about ChengDu (and a lot of southern China) is that buildings here don't have heat. I guess someone in the government decided that buildings built in the south do not need heat. Anyways, what we have here is air conditioners that can generate a small amount of heat if you turn the temperature on the thermostat up.

There's a couple of problems with this... First, is that air conditioners don't generate heat as well as they generate cold air. The second thing is that the air conditioners, as well as their thermostats, are located up near the ceiling... so you end up with a warm top half of a room and cold lower half of the room. Not the best way to heat a room during the coldest winter in fifty years.


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