It’s no secret that China is one of the world’s most populous countries, but it’s even less known that on December 20th, 2020, the country experienced a record-breaking cold weather day. The northernmost city of Mohe recorded a temperature of -52.3 Celsius (-62.3 Fahrenheit), making it the coldest day ever measured in China and the entire northern hemisphere since records began in 1709. In this article we explore what exactly happened in Mohe on December 20th and the extreme weather conditions leading up to it.
It’s been a cold winter in many parts of the world, but one city in China just experienced its coldest day yet. On January 3rd, the northernmost city of Mohe saw temperatures dip to an astonishing -52.3°C (-62.3°F). This is the lowest temperature ever recorded for any inhabited location within mainland China. The extreme conditions in Mohe were caused by a combination of factors, including high latitude and elevation, as well as an arctic air mass that had moved south from Siberia. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what happened in Mohe, as well as how these kinds of extreme weather events are becoming more common as climate change continues to take hold.
Harbin sees coldest day ever
In January, Harbin—China’s northernmost city—saw its coldest day ever. The temperature dropped to -38.9 degrees Celsius (-37.8 degrees Fahrenheit), breaking the previous record of -38.3 degrees Celsius (-36.9 degrees Fahrenheit), set in December 2009.
Although cold snaps like this are not unusual for Harbin, which is located in northeastern China, this particular event was unusually long-lasting and intense. The frigid temperatures caused disruptions to transportation, public utilities, and daily life in the city of more than 10 million people.
How the cold affects people and animals
In China, the coldest day ever was recently recorded in the city of Mohe, located in the country’s northernmost province of Heilongjiang. The temperature there plummeted to a bone-chilling -52.3 degrees Celsius (-62.14 degrees Fahrenheit).
For most people, being exposed to such extreme cold can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. It can cause frostbite, which is when your skin and tissues freeze from exposure to the cold. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, pale skin, and hard or waxy-looking skin. In severe cases, it can lead to amputation.
Animals are also affected by the cold weather. Many birds and mammals will migrate south for the winter to escape the bitter cold temperatures. Others have special adaptations that help them survive in freezing climates, such as thick fur coats or layers of fat beneath their skin.
How to stay warm in extreme cold weather
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to stay warm in extremely cold weather, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure you have plenty of layers on. It’s important to have a layer next to your skin that will wick away moisture, like wool or synthetic materials. You also want to have an insulating layer to trap heat, like down or synthetic insulation. Finally, make sure you have a wind- and waterproof outer layer.
Once you’re dressed properly, it’s important to keep moving. Exercise generates heat, so even something as simple as taking a walk will help keep your body temperature up. If you can’t move around much, do some simple exercises in place, like jumping jacks or sit-ups. And if you start to feel too warm, don’t be afraid to take off a layer or two; you don’t want to overheat and start sweating, which will make you colder once it evaporates.
Finally, one of the most important things to do is stay hydrated. Your body needs water to function properly, and in cold weather it’s easy to become dehydrated without realizing it. So drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty.