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Big rains on wane after super-soggy June
By Ke Jiayun

MORE than twice the average amount of rain fell in the first 28 days of June, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.

Since records began, the mean precipitation level for the period — as recorded at the Xujiahui weather station, which serves as a benchmark for the city — has been 165.7 millimeters. This year, the total was 339.8mm, the bureau said.

In northern Chongming County, the downpours were even heavier, totaling 615.4mm, while southern Fengxian District was the driest, though still far above the norm, at 199.8mm.

Yesterday’s torrents were the remnants of the latest wave of the plum rain belt, and Chongming, as expected, saw the worst of them.

Between Friday and 11am yesterday, the total rainfall in Chongming was 225.5mm, followed in a distant second place by Baoshan District, with 97.4mm.

Today and tomorrow are set to be much drier, though the plum rain season has yet to wane completely, said Wu Rui, a chief service officer at the bureau.

“Generally, the season ends about July 10,” he said.

With the coming days expected to be much less soggy, though not completely rain free, temperatures are set to yo-yo.

Today’s high is likely to be about 28 degrees Celsius, before rising to 34 degrees tomorrow, the bureau said.

On Wednesday the mercury is forecast to manage no more than 26 degrees, before rising again to 30 degrees on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the recent storms have had a significant impact on the yields of local fruits, including waxberries and cherries, and growers have been forced to increase their prices.

The owner of a fruit store in Yangpu District said yesterday that the price of waxberries, which he was selling for 36 yuan (US$5.8) per kilogram, had doubled since last week.

Sun Jun, an official with an industry association in neighboring Zhejiang Province, which is a major growing region for waxberries, said this year’s yields are down at least 10 percent.


100 flights canceled

Thousands of passengers were left stranded at the city’s airports at the weekend as rains continued to lash the city.

More than 100 flights were canceled and about 150 were delayed at Pudong and Hongqiao, with the former worse affected, officials said. The majority of flights through Pudong were delayed for 10 hours or more and countless passengers spent Saturday night in the terminal buildings.

Some said they tried to make alternative travel arrangements but were told they couldn’t get access to their luggage.

“We wanted to get out of the airport and take the train instead, but the airline told us that our cases were locked in the hold,” said a Sichuan Airlines passenger.

People on a China Southern Airlines flight were forced to get on and off the plane three times as officials dithered over the changing weather conditions.

Others complained about the lack of information about the status of their flights.

A China Eastern passenger said the only information he could find was on a whiteboard by the airline’s check-in counter.

“I had to queue for hours to change my flight,” he said, adding that despite all the delays, the huge amount of congestion meant that many people were actually late for their flights.

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