China Claims Score In Weather Manipulation
I am a meteorologist. I'm not going to dispute this particular Chinese claim, but I think it needs to be taken in context because the Chinese have not been above stretching the facts when it serves them.
The weather and air quality have been fairly close to the worrisome scenario painted months ago. I've been checking meteorological observations every day, finding the dew point at Beijing's airport in the mid and upper 70s on a regular basis and visibility of 1-2 miles common (It is currently under 1 mile, but there is rain falling).
Back in February I wrote on my blog of the potential Olympic weather: "So, when the deputy chief engineer of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau says, "Even if the rare extreme weather hits Beijing in August, people will not feel muggy. High humidity will not accompany the hot weather in August because their climax periods are different, " I'd hide the silverware and other valuables."
Current Beijing observations are here.
Dew points (the real number you should look at when you think humidity) have been consistently in the 70s--often the upper 70s. That's like walking around with a warm, damp cloth wrapped around your body. Much of yesterday had Beijing more humid than Miami.
I would feel better about what the Chinese say if dissenting voices were allowed to speak about the air!
There is an independent group from Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants in England who have been monitoring the air and issuing their own forecasts which have been much more pessimistic than the official government version. Now that forecast is gone! From Telegraph.co.uk: British scientists monitoring air quality in Beijing have been ordered to close down their website after their readings clashed with official statistics showing the city was meeting its pollution targets.