First red alert issued as city hit by scorcher
SHANGHAI’S temperature hit 40 degrees Celsius yesterday, the hottest day this summer and the second highest in the city’s 137-year history of documenting weather records.
The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued a red alert, the highest of a three-tier heat-warning system, about 2:10pm yesterday.
The level was upgraded from orange, issued about 8am, after the maximum temperature climbed from the forecast 38 degrees to 40.
It was the first time the red alert was issued since the city began the meteorological warning system in March 2004.
Before yesterday, Shanghai had gone through an entire week of days with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees, weathermen said.
“The high temperatures are being caused by subtropical high pressure and few clouds in the sky,” Han Chang, chief service officer of the bureau, said yesterday.
The peak of 40 degrees was reached in both Xujiahui and Pudong by 4pm yesterday. Temperatures in other weather stations in the city eclipsed 38 degrees.
The city’s minimum temperature was 29.9 degrees.
Yesterday’s maximum was second only to the record of 40.2 degrees, which was set on July 12, 1934. The third highest fell on July 25, 2003, and July 29, 2007, at 39.6 degrees.
By about 2pm yesterday, the city was engulfed in hot air.
“I kept sweating and felt burnt by the heat,” said Ji Ruijie, a salesperson who was working outside at 2:15pm.
Later, the heat was too intense for many who normally enjoy an after-dinner walk.
“We reeled back into the air-conditioned room within two minutes after my husband and I stepped out,” said Liu Biqin, 52, a city retiree.
“It just felt like a big steam box that made you dizzy.
“Our normally busy community was very quiet.”
The weather bureau issued a warning to residents over the heat.
“ Try not to go out in such extreme weather conditions, especially in the morning,” Han said. “If you have to go out, wear hats and sunscreen.”
From today, the subtropical high pressure will start to fade, temperatures should gradually drop and some showers are expected in the afternoons and evenings, according to the bureau.
However, today will still be the eighth straight day when the maximum is expected to reach at least 37 degrees. The minimum forecast for today is 29 degrees.
A man holds up a toddler at an outdoor swimming pool in Shanghai Jiao Tong University yesterday as the mercury hits 40 degrees. — Wang Rongjiang