The Spring City is having a hard time living up to its name this week as overnight temperatures have repeatedly dropped below freezing. Weekend rain changed quickly to snow as a frigid storm system swept through much of southwest China.
By Sunday afternoon, much of Kunming was experiencing plunging mercury and light flurries. A steady snowfall continued throughout the night and by Monday morning the city was covered in a light blanket of snow.
For many, the weather was a rare opportunity to see Kunming in a different light, build tiny snowmen and engage in snowball fights. For travelers, the situation was a bit different. Kunming Changshui International Airport was reportedly closed down when five centimeters of snow fell on the tarmac, once again stranding more than ten thousand people. Cars and trucks were barred from highways passing around Kunming due to icy road conditions.
By Monday afternoon much of the snow had melted, allowing the airport and highways to resume operation. The frosty temperatures, however, stuck around and are expected to last for several more days. Below is a selection of photos from around town as Kunming dealt with snowy weather for the first time in a long time.
On Monday, many people's morning commute was a bit more slippery than usual, although no major road accidents were reported.
The lonely courtyard of a massive high rise development near Kunming's North Train station.
A view along the Kunming Expressway. Freeways near Kunming were closed for much of Monday but all were reopened to traffic by late afternoon.
A view of Changshui Airport on Sunday night. Snow, slush and ice accumulation on the runways led to the cancellation of more than 300 flights Sunday and Monday.
More than 2,200 soldiers and civilian volunteers were reportedly called in to clear snow and ice from Changshui Airport runways on Monday.
A view down one of two airport runways. Planes were grounded not only by snowfall, but also by, at times, near whiteout conditions.
A railroad bridge along Kunming's last narrow gauge railway crossing the Panlong River. Temperatures have not dropped low enough for ice to form in city waterways.
Students using railway tracks as a shortcut through the center of Kunming. The trek was a bit more slow-going and treacherous due to the snow and ice.
One of the city's older-style neighborhoods under a thin covering of snow. Residents in many sections of the city gathered outside around small communal fires kindled out of discarded wood in efforts to make the best of the chilly weather.
Most of Kunming went about its business as usual. The man above hauled rebar undaunted on his tricycle in the morning.
A view of Kunming's growing skyline form above the old North Train Station, taken Monday.
Some of the more tropical plants around the city suffered, not so much from the snow, but instead from prolonged periods of sub-zero weather. The cold is forecasted to linger in Kunming for at least the next week, with overnight temperatures dropping below freezing for the foreseeable future.© Copyright 2005-2023 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.