Firecrackers during the Chinese New Year may have affected the weather but
were not the cause of Wednesday's thick fog in Beijing, said Director of the
Beijing Meteorological Observatory Guo Hu yesterday.
Guo made the remarks in response to local media reports, which pointed the
blame for Wednesday's fog that canceled flights and closed down highways at
"We had actually forecast a haze in Beijing for Wednesday, although it
developed into a fog due to an increase in humidity after being affected by fog
from Shandong Province and vapor from the Bohai Sea," Guo said.
It had been windless in Beijing since Tuesday and particles in the air had
been accumulating, resulting in Wednesday's thick fog, explained weather
forecasters with the Beijing Meteorological Observatory.
The Capital International Airport was forced to cancel 190 flights, while
sections of seven Beijing and 10 Tianjin highways were also forced to close
It finally became clear on Thursday after the fog dissipated with strong
Fireworks are part of traditional celebrations marking Spring Festival, the
most important holiday for Chinese, which fell on Feb. 18 this year.
Since Beijing lifted a 12-year ban for last year's Spring Festival, fireworks
have made a loud return to the Chinese capital.
The sales of fireworks by two major suppliers have reached 380,000 boxes in
Beijing this year, compared with 240,000 boxes last year, according to a
municipal public security official.