Now that Beijing has won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, talk has moved from the problem of snow in a city distinctive for its arid climate, sandstorms and perpetual lack of water, to the virtues of artificial snow (despite the amount of water fake snow takes to manufacture). Meanwhile, a long-long range weather forecast, conducted by the city’s meteorological bureau, predicts natural snowfall is likely to increase in the areas slated for competition action in seven years’ time.
The mountains near Beijing will have enough high-quality snow for the 2022 Winter Olympics, meteorological and sports experts reaffirmed one month ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s announcement of the host city for the 2022 games.Beijing is bidding for the 2022 Games together with the city of Zhangjiakou in neighboring Hebei Province. Indoor ice sports and games will be held in downtown Beijing, while snow-based events will take place in Yanqing County in suburban Beijing and Chongli County in Zhangjiakou.
According to Dr. Wang Ji, Deputy Director of the Beijing Municipal Climate Center of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, low snowfall will not prevent Beijing from hosting a successful Olympic Games because downtown Beijing and Yanqing County have different climates. “Whereas [downtown] Beijing sees little snow in winter, Yanqing is fairly humid,” Wang said.
The average annual snowfall in the mountainous area in Yanqing is around 20.2 centimeters (about 7.95 inches). Citing a research project he conducted that tracked weather data in the region from 1961 to 2012, Wang said that seven years from now the competition areas may see two to three centimeters more snow than they do presently.
Chen Xia, Wu Qiongjing, Chris Parker contributed to this story