OVERNIGHT rain and the arrival of a cold front will bring respite today from yesterday’s pollution, which reached almost 10 times World Health Organization safe levels, forecasters said yesterday.
Today will see drizzle and temperatures fall by 7 degrees Celsius, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Yesterday, Shanghai woke to smoggy conditions which topped 200 in the city Air Quality Index — heavily polluted — by 9am.
Air quality continued to deteriorate, reaching 266 on the AQI around noon.
The concentration of main pollutant, tiny PM2.5 particles, hit nearly 220 micrograms per cubic meter — compared to a WHO guideline of 25.
Both indexes showed a downward trend in the afternoon. By 7pm, the AQI stood at 124, while PM2.5 concentration was below 100 micrograms per cubic meter.
According to the bureau, the increase of pollution could be attributed to yesterday’s high humidity and weak winds — which meant pollutants did not disperse.
“Overnight showers might help wash away the pollutants,” Zhu Jiehua, a chief service officer of the bureau, told Shanghai Daily, “And a cold front due to arrive last night may also bring a relief with stronger winds.”
But the cold front will also send temperatures falling — with today’s high set to be 17 degrees, 7 degrees lower than Sunday’s 24 degrees.
Tomorrow temperatures will climb back to 20 degrees, while Wednesday and Thursday will see highs in the low twenties. The high will dip to 19 degrees on Friday.
Between Tuesday and Thursday will see a mix of clouds and sun, with light smog expected Tuesday.
Friday will see mostly gray skies, said forecasters.