THE Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued its first heat wave warning of the year yesterday as the mercury rose to a high of 35.8 degrees Celsius in Songjiang District.
The “yellow” alert was posted at 10:20am in response to the soaring temperatures across the city, forecasters said.
Five districts — Qingpu, Songjiang, Baoshan, Jiading and Minhang — reported highs of 35-plus degrees, while in all but one of the others, the mercury topped out at between 34 and 35 degrees.
Only in Chongming County did it fall below 34, achieving a comparatively modest 33.9 degrees, the bureau said.
“It’s not very sunny, but it’s really hot and sticky,” a woman walking through the city’s downtown told Shanghai Daily.
Another woman, who was pushing her grandson in a stroller, said: “It’s a lot hotter today than it was yesterday. Even the baby is sweating.”
Zhu Jiehua, a chief service officer at the bureau, said the steep rise in temperature was due to a bank of a high pressure over Shanghai.
Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and light clothing were ubiquitous yesterday as people did their best to cope with the sweltering heat.
Along with yesterday’s heat wave came a light smog. While the main pollutant early in the day was PM2.5 particles, this shifted in the afternoon to ozone, according to the meteorologists.
At its peak, the concentration of ozone was 168 micrograms per cubic meter, or 68 percent higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended safe level of 100.
The bureau lifted the heat wave alert at 5:25pm, only to replace it an hour later with yellow alerts for rainstorms, gales and lightning.
Despite the warnings, which were based on expectations of the arrival of a south-moving rain belt, as of press time the city remained dry and warm.
Heavy rains remain on the cards for today and the weekend, however, while temperatures are set to range between 23 and 27 degrees.
The wet conditions are set to continue into next week, the bureau said.
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