For an Olympics that’s made headlines for its man-made snow, the weather has had a mind of its own. The China Meteorological Administration issued a blizzard warning for Sunday saying significant snowfall was expected.
The weekend snowfall, which had already begun in some areas on Saturday, is the first since the Winter Olympics opened on Feb. 4. It is rare for this region to receive actual snowfall, so twice in 10 days is even more rare. Less than six inches of snow falls during a typical year..
The women’s freeski slopestyle qualification in Zhangjiakou was rescheduled due to the snow. The men’s giant slalom also was impacted by the white stuff, as start times were condensed to try and fit in more skiers within a shorter window.
The second training session for the women’s downhill race was also canceled due to the expected snowfall. Training was supposed to start at 10 p.m. ET. The race is scheduled to be held on Monday night in the U.S.
American Mikaela Shiffrin made light of the situation tweeting the downtime left her too much time to think about how she fell asleep with goldfish in her bed. An unpleasant accident most people have made before, whether they’d admit to it or not.
View social media post: https://twitter.com/MikaelaShiffrin/status/1492669773225725955?s=20&t=w3g2zp4K8y3oS2YH_TCUUg
The authorities issued a blue blizzard warning, the lowest of the country’s four-tiered alerts, with some regions forecast to receive up to 1.6 inches of snow. They advised the public to cut back on unnecessary outdoor activities.
“It is expected that there will be heavy snow in parts of central and southern Inner Mongolia, northern Shanxi, central and northern Hebei, northern Beijing, southern Tianjin, eastern and southern Liaoning, and Xinjiang along the Tianshan Mountains today,” the China Meteorological Administration notice said.
As far as whether it’s cold enough to snow, the temperatures in dropped to 21 degrees Fahrenheit. For an Olympics known for not having natural snow, it’s certainly starting to look like a more traditional site for the Winter Games.