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November 14, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

Air pollution 'serious' but winds to bring relief

AIR pollution that covered Shanghai over the weekend was rated "seriously polluted" last night, but is expected to clear today as winds pick up, the city's weather authority said yesterday.

This is the highest level in a five-tier scale and people were advised to stay indoors.

Air quality had been classified as "lightly polluted" since Saturday morning, mainly due to haze and mist over the city, said Zhu Jiehua, a forecaster of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Yesterday, the sky looked dusty with low visibility and residents complained of irritation in their noses.

The still air saw the haze linger, while clouds and mist further reduced visibility, especially last night, Zhu said.

Light breezes from the northeast and a weak cold front were expected to disperse the haze and bring in cleaner air from the sea to improve air conditions, said Lin Chenyuan, a forecaster with the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

Temperatures will remain between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius today but are expected to climb to 18 to 21 degrees by Friday.

Overcast weather is predicted until Thursday, when showers are forecast.

The air pollution index, a measure of inhalable particulates, rose to 127 yesterday, from Friday's figure of 88, creating light pollution, according to the enter.

So far this year, the city has had 20 lightly polluted days, one day recorded at "medium level" and two "seriously polluted" days - five more polluted days than in the same period last year, said the center.

On average, air quality was classified "fine" last week, but the index for inhalable particulates rose 5 percent compared to the previous week, reflecting worsening air quality, the center said.

Shanghai always suffers from poor air quality in November and December as these are the months when haze and mist most seriously affect air quality, an official with the center said.


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