The heaviest snow to hit North China in decades caused widespread chaos on roads and left tens of thousands of passengers stranded at airports yesterday - but worse is forecast for today and tomorrow.
Temperatures are forecast to drop to -16 C in Beijing, the lowest in half a century, when work resumes after a three-day New Year holiday.
The severe weather forced thousands of primary and high schools to suspend classes today.
The authorities in Beijing and Tianjin announced yesterday that classes in the two cities' 3,500 primary and high schools will be suspended, affecting more than 2.2 million students.
Yesterday's snowfall forced the full or partial closure of airports in Beijing, Tianjin, Hohhot and Dalian, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded.
More than 90 percent of flights at Beijing Capital International Airport, the country's busiest, were cancelled or severely delayed, with only one of the three runways open at one point.
The snow forced cars to less than 40 km-per-hour on the usually bustling freeway from the airport into town. Vehicles slowed to a crawl on city roads, navigating slushy snow.
Many of the expressways connecting Beijing with other cities were shut down or had restricted access, with several centimeters of snow blanketing roads.
Long-distance bus travel in North China was hampered by the weather, but the nation's rail system was operating normally, reports said.