A sudden bout of heavy snow hit multiple mountainous areas in Altay Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Saturday, cooling the weather to below zero degree Celsius.

More than 10 centimeters of snowfall are spotted in some areas of the prefecture, a rarely seen summer or early autumn weather in many other parts of the vast country. The snow cover was expected to melt on August 21 as the air temperature picked up again in mountainous areas in Altay, according to the local meteorological authorities.