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January 9, 2013

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Forecast calls for better air quality

THE city's air quality is expected to improve today after two straight days of moderate pollution caused by a cold front that brought sand and dust from northern China.

The Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center issued an air pollution alert at 8:38am yesterday as the PM2.5 reading rose to 143 micrograms per cubic meter, nearly double the national standard of 75, by 7am.

PM2.5 is a measurement of airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers. They are the main cause of urban smog and haze and are harmful to human health.

The PM2.5 reading fell to 70.5 micrograms around 5pm after the wind increased. However, at 5pm the PM2.5 density still averaged 132.6 micrograms per cubic meter for the past 24 hours.

Today's forecast calls for an overcast sky with a low of 2 degrees Celsius and a high of 6 degrees. The minimum temperature should drop to zero tomorrow morning while the high should remain at 6 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

The bureau said light rain is expected on Friday.


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