Ongoing week-long cold wave in northern Vietnam 'rare'

By Gia Chinh   March 2, 2024 | 04:00 pm PT
Ongoing week-long cold wave in northern Vietnam 'rare'
People protect themselves against the cold in February 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Parts of northern Vietnam have been in a deep chill for the last seven days, the longest cold wave seen in the late February-early March period over the last 18 years.

Nguyen Van Huong, head of the weather forecast department at the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said the period's coldest day was Feb. 21, when 10 localities recorded temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. In Hanoi, four weather stations recorded temperatures around 11 degrees.

"Severe cold (average daytime temperatures at 13-15 degrees) in this period is not unusual, as February is still winter in northern Vietnam. However, a severe cold wave lasting seven days is rarely seen. In the last 10-15 years, we have seen few cold waves lasting from late February to early March," he said, adding that the latest long-lasting cold wave in this period hit for 10 days in 1996.

Huong said the cold wave would last until the end of Saturday, before temperatures would gradually rise as the cold air weakens and a low-pressure area develops. Starting March 4, several areas will see sunny days, with certain areas in northwestern Vietnam seeing temperatures as high as 35 degrees.

In March, temperatures in general are expected to hover around 0.5-1.5 degrees higher than recent yearly averages, but temperatures might be lower in northeastern areas. There will be more cold waves in the north, forecasters predict, however they will not be as severe.

Nguyen Ngoc Huy, a weather expert, said the current cold wave would last until the end of Sunday. From March 4 to March 8, there will be sunny days in the north, and temperatures will rise to 25-28 degrees from March 5 to March 6. Central Vietnam regions can see temperatures going up to 36 degrees during the period, he said.

From March 9 to March 14, another wave of cold air would come to the north, when temperatures would drop to 20 degrees, or under 15 degrees in mountainous regions.

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