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North winds to drive up pollution
2013-12-12
By Hu Min

Pollutants brought by northwest winds and unfavorable conditions mean the city will experience slightly to moderately polluted day today but rain is also forecast for Sunday.

The Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center has predicted a moderately polluted air quality this morning with the air quality index hovering between 155 and 175.

In the afternoon, the index is expected to drop slightly to 120 and 140, indicating a lightly polluted air quality. The major pollutant will be PM2.5.

Yesterday was slightly polluted with the index standing at 148 at 6pm, with the density of tiny PM2.5 particles at 70.8 micrograms per cubic meter.

Light haze is also forecasted for morning today.

“Haze is quite common in winter,” said Wu Rui, a chief service officer of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Man Liping, another chief service officer at the bureau, said the haze is caused by pollutants brought by the northwestern winds under the influence of a weak cold front, leading to a drop in the visibility.

The temperature should rise slightly to 12 degrees Celsius with strong cloud cover. But it could be as low as 3 degrees in the morning, Man said.

The temperature will be stable the following two days with mostly cloudy and sunny skies. But rains — long absent from the city — are predicted for Sunday and Monday.

The warm and wet air from southwest kept the city dry for a while, leading to nearly 80 percent drop in rains in November compared to the same periods in previous years. The mercury should drop as well.

Rain is forecasted for both Sunday and Monday with temperatures dropping to a low of 6 degrees and high of 10.

But the forecasters weren’t willing to guess if the much-delayed arrival of rain will drive away the pollutants.

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