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Everything about China and it's culture

It could be wet but can’t dampen spirit

Beijing is praying for the mercy of Mother Nature this Friday, as the latest weather forecast calls for rain and thunderstorms on the day of the Opening Ceremony.

"We may see a cloudy sky on August 8, and it will probably also meet scattered showers or thunderstorms," said Wang Jianjie, deputy director of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau. "The highest temperature may be between 30 and 32 C."

Wang spoke to reporters at a press conference August 3, 2008, but refused to give details on when and where the rain is expected to fall.

She did, however, say contingency plans have been made to reduce, delay or even bring forward the rainfall before it reaches the National Stadium, where the ceremony will be held.

Games organizers previously said there was a 41 percent chance of rain on the Opening day. At the first outdoor rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies on July 30, a sudden downpour cut the fireworks display.

Weather modification expert Zhang Qiang said the July 30 thunderstorms were beyond control. During a visit to the Beijing Olympic Meteorological Monitoring Center on Saturday, she told reporters her team will likely be able to control rainfalls of less than 10 mm.

Beijing has prepared cannons to either disperse rains for important activities or produce artificial rains to reduce temperatures when there are enough clouds.

Heavy rains, high temperatures and pollution caused by sultry weather conditions are Beijing’s main concerns during the Games, Guo Wenli, an expert on the Olympics weather monitoring team, told China Daily.

Games organizers say if any extreme weather conditions arise, they will provide warnings about them as early as possible and let BOCOG decide what to do in case of an emergency.




Beijing has enjoyed three consecutive sunny days, and the air quality has remained "healthy" for all groups. Such weather could continue into the Aug 8-24 Games period as Beijing enters autumn on Aug 7, said Guo Hu, Beijing Meteorological Observatory director.

Co-host cities are also keeping their fingers crossed. Two or three typhoons may strike Shanghai, Qingdao and Hong Kong in August, according to Qiao Lin, chief forecaster at the National Meteorological Center. The three coastal cities are set to host Olympic soccer, sailing and equestrian events. Poor weather during last August’s equestrian event in Hong Kong affected competition, but Games organizers had enough time to reschedule the event.

"If there will be typhoons, warnings will be issued 36 hours in advance to let everyone prepare," Qiao told reporters at the Main Press Center.

On August 6, an updated weather forecast from Games organizers is expected.

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