Young soldiers in northeastern China were snapped training in minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Their fur hats and coats became frosty in the icy weather in Heilongjiang, making them look like the Terracotta Warriors, said Sina News.

Photo: Sina News.

The Terracotta Warriors, or the Terracotta Army, are life size sculptures found in the tomb of China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang.

Photo: Sina News.

The soldiers were new recruits for a border defence unit. They ran five kilometres and did other exercises in the cold including sit-ups and hand wrestling.

Photo: Sina News.

Winter arrived earlier than normal in parts of northern China this year while the southern part of the country remains unusually warm.

Photo: Sina News.

Beijing saw its first snow this winter on November 6, 23 days earlier than last year, Chinese digital media The Paper reported. Meanwhile, clothing retailers in the southern coastal province of Fujian found it hard to sell winter clothes because many are still wearing short-sleeves in November, local media reported.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said earlier this year that a record strong El Nino was expected to bring unusual weather to many parts of the world.

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Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.