Don’t be de­pressed: Gloom has its charm in the Yangtze Delta re­gion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CAO CHEN in Shang­hai [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

Wet and over­cast weather will con­tinue to dom­i­nate the Yangtze River Delta re­gion, much to the dis­may of res­i­dents, who have ex­pe­ri­enced a record low num­ber of sunny hours since the start of win­ter in early De­cem­ber.

“Please get out and do your job now, sun! We need you more than ever,” a Shang­hai cit­i­zen said in a com­ment on the city’s weather fore­cast on Shang­hai Fabu, the so­cial me­dia ac­count of the mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment. The fore­cast warns peo­ple to ex­pect rainy weather for at least an­other week.

Many res­i­dents of the re­gion have felt their mood change with day af­ter day of no sun­shine — only cold weather, rain and over­cast skies.

“Con­stant rain makes me feel de­pressed. I have less en­ergy for work and want to sleep more than usual,” said Zhu Ning of Shang­hai.

Tan Zhonglin, deputy di­rec­tor of the depart­ment spe­cial­iz­ing in de­pres­sion at Hangzhou No 7 Peo­ple’s Hos­pi­tal, told Zhe­jiang Tele­vi­sion about the con­nec­tion be­tween de­pres­sion and sun­light.

“Light ex­erts pow­er­ful bi­o­log­i­cal ef­fects and af­fects mood through a di­rect path­way from the vis­ual sys­tem to the hu­man brain,” Tan said. “Dark­ness and cold weather can make some peo­ple feel de­pressed.”

At the hos­pi­tal, 10 per­cent of 28,000 vis­its in­volv­ing de­pres­sion last year were re­lated to win­ter weather.

Tan sug­gests brighter in­door light­ing, more in­door exercise and proper room tem­per­a­ture to com­bat the prob­lem.

“Wear­ing clothes with brighter col­ors also helps,” he said.

The most im­por­tant thing is to main­tain a good at­ti­tude about the weather, like other dif­fi­cul­ties in life, said Wang Jing, a 73-year-old from Xi’an, Shaanxi prov­ince, who has lived in Shang­hai for 20 years.

“The mon­soon sea­son in Shang­hai is from late May to early July, when there is abun­dant rain­fall and muggy weather for a long time. Com­pared with that pe­riod, the over­cast warm win­ter is lovely,” Wang said.

Li Yong­peng, an­other 73-year-old from Shang­hai, also en­joys the rainy win­ter. “While it pours, I can make my­self a cup of hot tea, read a book com­fort­ably by the door with a view of rain drops or step out­side with friends,” said Li. “Any­way, south­ern cities along the Yangtze River will not be per­fect with­out rain. Rainy and wet days are typ­i­cal here.”

Gloomy weather is ex­pected across the re­gion, mak­ing this win­ter an un­usu­ally sun­less sea­son.

Shang­hai ex­pe­ri­enced less than two hours of sun­light in the first nine days of 2019, the city’s weather au­thor­ity said on Thursday. Six me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal sta­tions in the dis­tricts of Xuhui, Qingpu, Min­hang, Songjiang, Fengx­ian and Pudong New Area, have recorded hardly any sun­shine, ac­cord­ing to the Shang­hai Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Bureau. Chong­ming Is­land was the most blessed, re­ceiv­ing 3.4 hours in the pe­riod.

In De­cem­ber, the city was awash in driz­zles for the whole month, re­ceiv­ing 137.9 mil­lime­ters of pre­cip­i­ta­tion, more than triple the an­nual av­er­age of the pe­riod and the third-high­est since 1873, when the city started keep­ing me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal records.

Weather in Shang­hai’s neigh­bor­ing Zhe­jiang prov­ince has been no less soggy. The prov­ince re­ceived a to­tal of 45 sunny hours from Dec 1 to Jan 6, the low­est mark for sun­shine hours in the pe­riod since 1952, ac­cord­ing to the prov­ince’s weather au­thor­ity.

Peo­ple in south­ern Jiangsu prov­ince also ex­pe­ri­enced sleet or snow on Jan 9, when a bliz­zard warn­ing was is­sued for the prov­ince by the China Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhang Ruiyi, chief ser­vice of­fi­cer at the Shang­hai bureau, a lack of cold fronts from the north is to blame for the con­stant rain in cities of the Yangtze Delta re­gion. Fronts are typ­i­cal for the sea­son and dis­perse the warm, moist air re­spon­si­ble for rain.

It is es­ti­mated that the next 10 days will bring more rain to Shang­hai, with an ob­vi­ous in­crease in pre­cip­i­ta­tion on Fri­day, Zhang said. “It will turn cloudy around next Thursday with the ar­rival of a cold front.”

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