A woman uses a broom to write words on snow reading "it snows" in a community in Shijingshan District in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 7, 2014. Beijing greeted the first snowfall in this winter on Friday. (Xinhua/He Junchang)
BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- It has been a long time in coming, but the first snow of the winter began falling in Beijing early on Friday, the second latest arrival in the capital for over 60 years.
The snowfall, only averaging 1.1 mm from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m., ended a 107precipitation-free days in the city, which had been suffered from a dry spell since some light rain fell on Oct. 22 last year, said the municipal meteorological observatory.
Snowflakes were first seen in the southwestern suburb of Fangshan and by 9 a.m., snow was lying in most areas in the city.
At 6:15 a.m., the observatory issued a warning of icy roads during the morning rush hour. The snow is set to continue into Friday night.
Statistics from the Beijing environmental monitoring center show the snow has cleaned the air, dramatically reducing PM2.5 readings.
Since records began in 1951, the most delayed first winter snow in Beijing occurred only three years ago, in the winter of 2010/11, and arrived on Feb. 10.
The city's the longest winter drought, 114 days, came in the winter of 1970/71.