The mercury dipped to minus 19.6 degrees Celsius on Thursday morning in Beijing as a strong cold wave swept through the city, marking the coldest morning in the Chinese capital since 1966.
The Nanjiao station, located in Beijing's Daxing district, is a national-level meteorological station founded in 1912. Its data are used by experts to make historical comparisons.
On early Thursday morning, half of Beijing's 20 national-level meteorological stations registered their lowest ever early-January temperatures, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported, quoting Lei Lei, chief forecaster of the Beijing municipal meteorological station.
The cold wave gripped Beijing since Wednesday, bringing drastic temperature drops and strong winds.
As of Thursday morning, the city's weather authorities have maintained blue alerts for continuous low temperature and heavy winds, the lowest level in China's four-tier colour-coded warning system.
The authorities have also advised the public to take precautions against the cold weather.
The cold wave is forecast to continue in Beijing until Friday, with the daily maximum temperature remaining below zero, Lei said, adding that the temperature is expected to climb on Saturday, with the daily maximum temperature rising above 1 degree Celsius.