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December 10, 2012

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Slightly warmer as pollution stays lower

SHANGHAI is expected to warm up a little starting tomorrow, with the mercury climbing by midweek back above 10 degrees Celsius after a chilly weekend.

The weekend's chill should extend into today, with the temperature ranging from a low of 1 degree Celsius to a high of 7, the Shanghai Observatory said. Tomorrow, the low is expected to rise to 5 degrees Celsius and the high to climb up to 10 degrees.

The mercury should rise above 10 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday with some drizzles.

Shanghai had its coldest day of the season yesterday with the mercury in the morning standing at 1.9 degrees Celsius downtown. The lowest temperature was recorded in Chongming County at 0.6 degree, according to the observatory.

After serious pollution on Saturday, blue skies emerged in Shanghai yesterday thanks to the wind, and the good air quality is expected to remain today, officials from Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center said.

Saturday was the first day with severe pollution after Shanghai introduced a more accurate and stricter air quality criterion on November 16. The new air quality index, or AQI, is based on six indicators: PM10, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, PM2.5, ozone and carbon monoxide levels, instead of the previous air pollution index (API) with PM10, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide.

The AQI on Saturday was 208, indicating "heavily polluted" conditions.

"The pollution was caused by sandstorms from the north and haze in the city," Fu Qingyan, the center's chief engineer, said yesterday.

Pollution dropped in the wee hours yesterday and they lifted a warning for poor air quality yesterday morning. The air today, Fu said, "won't be polluted under current meteorological conditions."

The density of PM2.5 reached over 200 micrograms per cubic meter at 6pm on Saturday. It started to drop at midnight and reached some 80 micrograms yesterday morning. PM2.5 then dropped to 40 micrograms in the afternoon.


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