Snow in Sa Pa

It does not often snow in Sa Pa.

When it does, people come to see and enjoy it.

So many people came to see the snow in Hoang Lien National Park that it caused traffic problems.

Snow covers all of Sapa Town in Lao Cai Province. The snowfall led to constant traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands of tourists flock to the town to admire the rare sight. - VNA/VNS Photos Van Thang

Snow covers all of Sapa Town in Lao Cai Province. The snowfall led to constant traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands of tourists flock to the town to admire the rare sight. - VNA/VNS Photos Van Thang

LAO CAI (VNS) — Sa Pa Town in the northern province of Lao Cai, a major national tourist attraction, wears an even more attractive look now with snowfall of more than five centimetres.

Officials of the Nui Xe Forest Management Station in the town’s Hoang Lien National Park say the snowfall has led to constant traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands of tourists flock to the town to admire the rare sight.
While it has been known for long that it snows in Sa Pa, this is not a common occurrence.
The Nui Xe Station said that it began snowing at around 9am yesterday.

It said that at a height of over 1,900m above sea level, temperatures had dipped to as low as minus two degrees Celsius, forming icy sheets 10-20cm thick.
Average temperature in Sa Pa remained low yesterday at about minus one degree Celsius, with constant heavy smog and drizzle.
Earlier, on Thursday, the province experienced heavy downpours of 30-50cm, and temperatures in Sa Pa dropped then to 5-7 degrees Celsius.

According to the Lao Cai Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre, another cold spell is expected to hit the province in the coming days.

The centre has also warned of strong winds, whirlwinds and hail storms that could threaten the lives and properties of residents.

Meanwhile, northern Viet Nam as a whole has experienced intense cold weather with temperatures ranging between 17 and 11 degrees Celsius. The temperature has dropped to below 10 degrees Celsius in a few mountainous areas, weather experts have said.

Provinces and cities in the north have also experienced mild to heavy rains over the last few days.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting yesterday echoed provincial warnings that mountainous areas in the north should be prepared for the possibility of tornadoes, hailstorms and strong winds.

It said that the cold weather would extend to the central region and some places on the south-central coast today. — VNS

GLOSSARY

Officials of the Nui Xe Forest Management Station in the town’s Hoang Lien National Park say the snowfall has led to constant traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands of tourists flock to the town to admire the rare sight.

If something is constant, it keeps on happening.

If there is congestion in a place, it means that it is so crowded it is very difficult to move. Where there is congestion involving cars on a road, it would be traffic congestion.

Something that you do not see very often would be a rare sight.

While it has been known for long that it snows in Sa Pa, this is not a common occurrence.

A common occurrence is something that happens often.

Average temperature in Sa Pa remained low yesterday at about minus one degree Celsius, with constant heavy smog and drizzle.

Smog is fog that is thicker than normal because it is mixed with dirty pollution.

Drizzle is light rain.

According to the Lao Cai Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre, another cold spell is expected to hit the province in the coming days.

Meteorological means something that is to do with the weather. Hydro-meteorological means something that is to do with the weather but specifically how water affects the weather.

A cold spell is a time of cold weather. It does not last forever but comes and goes.

The centre has also warned of strong winds, whirlwinds and hail storms that could threaten the lives and properties of residents.

A whirlwind is a wind that blows around and around in a tight circle.

Hail is ice that falls from the clouds, like rain.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting yesterday echoed provincial warnings that mountainous areas in the north should be prepared for the possibility of tornadoes, hailstorms and strong winds.

When you shout across a valley, or in the mountains, you may hear what you shouted being said again. That sound is called an echo. In this case, “echoed” means “being said again”, not by sound waves bouncing off mountains but rather by someone saying what has already been said. In other words, repeating what has already been said.

A tornado is a very fierce wind that works similarly to a whirlwind. However, tornadoes are often so strong they cause lots of damage.

WORKSHEET

There is a long word in this story, which is “Hydro-meteorological”. You will see in the glossary that it means something that is to do with the weather but specifically how water affects the weather.

When words in English have “hydr-” in them, they often mean something to do with water. This is because the word comes to English from the Ancient Greek word, “hydor”, which means “water”.

See if you can match the following words with their meanings. You may need the help of a dictionary.

1. Hydrate

2. Hydrogen

3. Hydro-electricity

4. Dehydrate.

5. Hydraulics.

a. The area of engineering that deals with the mechanical properties of liquids.

b. To cause water to be taken in, or absorbed.

c. Electricity made from energy captured by moving water.

d. To cause a loss of water.

e. A gas which, combined with oxygen, makes water.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2013

1-b; 2-e; 3-c; 4-d; 5-a.

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