Braving the cold, police officers and civil border guards patrol a ranch on the border with Mongolia in Changji, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Sunday
© Zhou You
Braving the cold, police officers and civil border guards patrol a ranch on the border with Mongolia in Changji, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Sunday

With an upper-level trough moving east, heavy snow swept northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from Thursday, drastically lowering temperature and forcing closure of some highway sections.

The lowest temperature in Kuitun City in northern Xinjiang dropped significantly to minus 14 degrees Celsius. Local residents put on thicker clothes to combat the cold wave.

The snow also battered Manasi County in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, with the mercury dipping below 10 degrees Celsius. The local sanitation department dispatched six snow plows to clear thick snow that had already accumulated on roads.


"The snow is so extensive and sticky. If it is not removed in time, the snow falling on vehicle will become so heavy that the shovel cannot be lifted. So we clear it every 30 to 40 minutes so as to guarantee the working efficiency," said Chen Jun, a driver of snow plow in Manasi County.

According to local meteorological observatories, this round of snow lasted for over seven hours, reaching nine centimeters in depth.

Blowing snow slammed highways, provincial roads and national roads in Mori Kazakh Autonomous County, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, affecting nearly 200 kilometers. As it narrowed visibility to 10 meters, local police immediately closed the affected sections and conducted temporary traffic control to over 200 large trucks and more than 30 cars.