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Exiting Beijing in the snow

I had to leave Beijing on Sunday afternoon.  Around the previous Friday the mild autumn weather became sharply cooler and on Sunday Beijing was blanketed with snow – the earliest in a decade. The claim is that the event occurred because scientists injected the clouds around Beijing with silver iodide – it can be used to generate snow as well as rain – to help break the long-standing Beijing drought. Maybe this is true but the cold came some time before the snow.  The drive out to the airport that afternoon was eventful – the Bird’s Nest Stadium looked ethereal in layers of cloud and snow – this image gives a feel for the sight but not the scale.  Magnificent.  The airport itself was chaos with my flight delayed for four hours and with passengers who had made wrong weather forecasts standing around in teashirts in absolutely freezing conditions – temperatures were well below zero.  Finally, I missed my connecting flight in Singapore by several hours and spent the night in Singapore before returning to Australia Monday morning.  I’ll eventually report on the conference I attended.

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