Early-season snow blankets Beijing and northern China

An early-season snowstorm has blanketed much of northern China including the capital Beijing prompting road closures and flight cancellations.

Temperatures plunged to freezing and below as a cold front moved from west to east. A steady, blowing snow was falling on Sunday in Beijing, the nearby city of Tianjin and northeastern China after hitting parts of Inner Mongolia and other western areas the previous day.

The National Meteorological Center has issued an orange alert for snowstorms, the second highest level in China’s four-tier warning system. Accumulations of more than 30 centimeters (11 inches) were forecast in some areas.

Several sections of highways around Beijing were closed Sunday because of the snow.

Flights were canceled Saturday at the airport in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Some expressways were temporarily shut in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, and further to the west in Shanxi province, Xinhua said.

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