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July 18, 2012

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Rain to keep us cool 2 more days

INTERMITTENT showers should stick around today and tomorrow before the heat returns in earnest, according to forecasters.

Shanghai's temperatures are expected to climb in the following days and reach 36 degrees Celsius again for the weekend as the rain belt departs and the subtropical high strengthens, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.

Today is forecast to be overcast with thundershowers and the high should remain around 29 degrees Celsius. Tomorrow is expected to be mostly cloudy with a chance of turning overcast with thundershowers. The high should reach 32 degrees Celsius tomorrow, meteorologists said.

"The turning point is that the high temperature is coming back," said Fu Yi, a chief service officer of the weather bureau. "The temperatures should hit 35 degrees again in the next few days under the control of the subtropical high."

But it was unclear whether the strength of the coming heat will equal the most recent hot spell earlier this month.

Flooding affects commuters

Shanghai enters fu today, which in Chinese signifies what usually is the hottest period of the year. The weather bureau forecast there should be about 26 high-temperature days this season with the high hitting or above 35 degrees. So far, there have been 10 such days.

Heavy showers hit part of the city yesterday morning, flooding streets in the Sanlin area in Pudong and Pujiang Town in Minhang District. Precipitation of 50 to 80 millimeters was seen in those areas, the city's flood control headquarters said.

The sudden rainfall slowed many morning commuters.

Xupu Bridge, a key cross-river thoroughfare in the south of the city, saw gridlock during yesterday morning's rush as some roads near the bridge were flooded and blocked.

A person who drove through the area wrote in an Internet comment that it was like "swimming to work."

Water seeped from storm drains on some roads in the city, rising up to halfway on the wheels of passing vehicles.

City traffic police said the Beihong Road underground vehicle tunnel of the Middle Ring Road became backed up during the morning rush after the tunnel flooded, causing vehicles to break down.

Traffic gradually resumed after the vehicles were towed, police said.

Subway commuters also had trouble yesterday after Metro Line 2 reported delays during the morning rush for about half an hour. It was suggested that passengers catching flights at Pudong International Airport find another way to get there. By 8am, more than 30 flights reported delays at the city's Pudong and Hongqiao international airports as a result of rainstorms, with scattered delays continuing afterward.


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