China will experience a warmer winter than normal, and some areas in the north will be more prone to air pollution as a result, the national observatory said on Tuesday.
"Generally, the average temperature in winter will be higher than average. The possibility of wide-ranging and long-lasting freezing snow and rain is low, " Ai Wanxiu, chief forecaster at the National Climate Center, said at a news conference on Tuesday.
She said, however, that people should follow the weather forecasts, as there may be short-term cold spells.
A warmer winter means that cold air from the north will be weak and may result in a stable atmosphere that is unfavorable for the dispersal of air pollutants, she said.
According to the China Meteorological Administration, in the two rounds of heavy air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei province region in October, the density of PM 2.5 was lower than in the past several years.
The administration also warned of poor visibility in the next 10 days in the region and in the Fenhe and Weihe plains－most of which lie in Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces－as well as the Yangtze River Delta, as weak cold air from the north will make the dispersal of air pollutants difficult.
North China will experience moderate to heavy air pollution from Sunday to Nov 14, it said.
The higher temperatures this winter may also worsen the ongoing drought in some areas, including areas in northern and southwestern China, Ai said.
"Little rainfall is forecast in these areas this month," she said.
Precipitation was down by 50 percent from the average level in October in those areas. About 440,000 square kilometers have been affected by drought as of Oct 31.
Zhang Zuqiang, spokesman for the administration, said the country received an average 28.1 millimeters of precipitation in October, almost 22 percent below normal.
Niu Ruoyun, chief forecaster at the National Meteorological Center, said the country will experience frequent but weak cold air from the north in the first half of this month. The cold air, however, will probably become stronger after mid-month.