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Severe sandstorms forecast for spring

China
Northern regions are likely to see more frequent and severe sandstorms in spring, the China Meteorological Administration said. "Sandstorm days" are expected to increase significantly in the eastern Inner Mongolia and northern Hebei regions. Eastern regions have also been forecast to receive less rain than last year. Several areas, including parts of Jilin and Liaoning provinces, are prone to "relatively severe" droughts in the season. As such, local forestry authorities should raise the fire alarm level. Meteorologists said the grim forecasts were related to the La Nina phenomenon and abnormal atmospheric circulation, and would prevail until summer. La Nina is a large pool of unusually cold water in the equatorial Pacific that develops every few years, affecting global weather. The latest development of La Nina was the cause of rare, prolonged snowstorms and low temperatures that devastated many parts of the country last month, experts said.

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