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April 28, 2010

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Old power-plant tower emits weather news

VISITORS to the Shanghai World Expo can get the latest weather forecast from the tall chimney of Shanghai's century-old power plant in Puxi, the highest venue at the Expo site.

The 165-meter chimney along the Huangpu River in the 110-year-old Nanshi Power Plant now stands equipped with an LED screen - a thermometer displaying the current temperature.

The top of the chimney will change colors to inform about weather conditions and alert visitors to the approach of bad weather.

The old chimney, now known as the "Expo Thermometer," began working yesterday.

The chimney is connected to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, which will provide a precise weather forecast of the Expo every hour as well as issue weather alerts during the 184-day world's fair.

The chimney will change six colors on its top: white means good weather (sunny and cloudy) and purple means bad (rain or snow). Blue, yellow, orange and red mean four levels of weather alerts, red being the most serious.

Patterns will be displayed on the body of the chimney during weather alerts to tell what kind of bad weather is coming.

The chimney will operate from 9am to 10pm. The site runs from 9am to midnight.

The chimney will also be illuminated as a modern sculpture at night. Colorful rays will form different three-dimensional wrap-around structures.

The illumination is planned and provided by the French city Lyon, whose energy-efficient street-lighting systems are showcased as one of the Urban Best Practices at the 2010 event.


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