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City enjoys excellent air quality, clear sky but no relief from heat
By Hu Min

THE good: a clear blue sky and excellent air quality were reasons enough for some cheer among the locals.

The bad: the mercury will remain above 35 degrees Celsius through the week with a high of 38 degrees forecasted from Saturday to Wednesday.

Yesterday, the microblogs and WeChats were flooded with pictures of clear sky and the leisurely white clouds - a rarity of sorts. An excellent air quality also brought some relief - and smiles - back among the locals struggling with incessant heat wave.

"The excellent air quality was because of strong southeast wind that brought some fresh air from the sea to the city as well as the influence of a downward flow," said Wu Rui, a chief service officer at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

The air quality index, AQI, was 47 around 5pm yesterday - the lowest level of the six-scale system and described as "excellent," the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center reported.

But the city will continue to toil under the intense heat for at least five days more with the high climbing above 35 degrees Celsius due to the influence of a subtropical high. The temperature will hit 38 degrees over the weekend until next Wednesday, forecasters said.

It will be sunny today with the temperatures ranging between 35 and 28. Saturday will be cloudy with afternoon thunderstorm likely in parts of the city, but the temperature will touch 37 degrees. It is expected to climb up to 38 on Monday and Tuesday.

"It is hard to predict how many hot days are ahead, but the scorching weather will dominate the city for another five to six days," Wu said.

Yesterday's high was 34.2 degrees. The bureau had earlier forecasted up to 27 high temperature days (35 degrees or above) this summer.

It has already been steamy 13 days so far this month. The weather bureau said it was the second longest period of high temperature days since 1934.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Cimaron made landfall in southeast China's Fujian Province last night, bringing heavy rain and strong gales. But it was unlikely to have an impact on the city.

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