BEIJING, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A cold snap dropped temperatures in Beijing to a 10-year low Wednesday morning with a reading of just 12 degrees above zero, the city's weather bureau said.
The freezing weather made traffic congestion in the Chinese capital worse than usual after hikers and bicycle riders switched to cars, taxis and buses to get to work, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
"It was so cold my face went numb," one female commuter told a reporter.
She said she usually walked to work but ended up waiting 20 minutes in the cold for a bus.
Some private car owners risked fines under Beijing's three-year-old traffic management rules and drove to work instead of taking public transportation.
One mother said she was willing to risk a fine to drive her son to school because if he caught a cold the doctor bill would be much higher.
Many other parts of China were also suffering from record cold temperatures Wednesday.
Forecasters said the weather would start to improve Thursday.