What fierce winds The sand storm hits Beijing

On March 15 and 16, 2002, the first sand storm of spring hit Beijing City. Beginning at 2:00 p.m., on March 15, the sky grew more and more yellow, until it looked just like the evening sky. From the higher elevations, yellow sand was dancing among the buildings and streets. The two consecutive days of dusty weather caused a lot of trouble for Beijing residents. When they went into streets, they had to wear gauze kerchiefs, hats and facemasks.

According to an analysis of the last fifty years of weather reports, since the 1990's, the days of dust storms in most areas of northern China have become less severe than they were in the 1950's and 1960's. Simultaneously, there was an opposite trend of increasing sand in some areas of Qinghai Province, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Province. Since 1999, however, the trend has changed. In the first half-year of 2000, northern areas of China had dusty weather eighteen times in a total of forty-one days, which means that on average, every other day there was a spring dust storm.

The experts have predicted that sand storms will appear again around March 21.