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November 24, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

Pollution blows in for a 4th day

Pollution shrouded Shanghai yesterday for the fourth time this month, but the wind is expected to clear it away today, the city's air quality watchdog said.

Despite sunny weather in the morning, the city's buildings looked like they were behind gauze, while residents complained of dry throats. The city's air was classified as "lightly polluted" after light breezes brought pollutants from the north to the city on Tuesday night.

Yesterday's still air made the pollutants linger, said Wang Qian, a forecaster with the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

More than half the pollutants in the air yesterday were particulates smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, small enough to be inhaled into the lungs and more harmful as a result, the center said.

Inhalable particulates rose to a level of 110 on the center's air quality index at 10am, Wang said. The index declined in the afternoon after some breezes but climbed to over 100 again at 4pm. A reading above 100 indicates pollution.

The air quality should be classified as good today with the index at about 85, Wang said. January should see fewer polluted days, Wang said.

November and December are always the months with the most polluted days in Shanghai, said Duan Yusen, another forecast at the center. The city had a total of seven polluted days last November and has had four so far this year.

Temperatures are expected to fluctuate over the next few days with the movement of cold and warm air streams, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.

Readings are expected to drop to 7 degrees Celsius this morning, the lowest of the week, and gradually climb back through the weekend, the bureau said.

Today is forecast sunny to cloudy with the low at 7 degrees and a high of 14. Tomorrow should be cloudy with temperatures between 10 and 17 degrees.

Yesterday was xiao xue, or light snow, one of the 24 solar terms in the Chinese lunar calendar. But the arrival of winter in the city still seems to be far off.


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