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December 25, 2013

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Home » Metro » Environment

Pollution for city’s Christmas

Heavily polluted air is expected to greet Christmas today with the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center forecasting an air quality index of between 220 and 240. Things will get better in the afternoon with the air moderately polluted and the AQI dropping to a low of 160.

Blanketed in smog, the city saw a sunny but cold Christmas Eve with morning temperatures dropping to zero or below in some districts and later increasing to single figures, forecasters said.

The air was moderately polluted in the evening along with a rising concentration of particles. The density of main pollutant PM2.5 reached 182.6 micrograms per cubic meter, or more than double the nation’s limit of 75.

The center says the city air is lightly polluted when the AQI exceeds 100 and stays below 150. An AQI from 151 to 200 indicates moderately polluted air while a reading between 201 and 300 is heavily polluted and above 300 severely polluted.

When the air is heavily or severely polluted, measures such as temporarily halting outdoor construction work and making schoolchildren stay indoors are taken.

“According to the available data, smog is expected to linger in the city overnight through Wednesday morning,” Zhu Jiehua, a forecaster at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, said yesterday. “We will keep monitoring and analyzing the new trend of smog and update our reports.”

Christmas Day in the city will be cloudy and warmer with temperatures as high as 10 degrees Celsius.

The warmer weather will continue tomorrow but maximum temperatures will drop by 5 degrees on Friday and Saturday and lows will reach zero.

The cold front, expected to arrive in the city tomorrow, is likely to bring winds, which should help disperse pollutants.

Nearly 20 other cities in China were covered in smog and suffering from heavy pollution yesterday, China News Service reported.

The National Meteorological Center issued a yellow haze alert at 6am.

A total of 16 cities were reported to have an AQI of over 300.

Beijing environmental authorities issued a yellow alert for haze at 10:30am, and neighboring Tianjin remained under smoggy skies after issuing two yellow haze alerts on Monday.

Of the 10 most smoggy cities yesterday, seven were in north China’s Hebei Province. The AQI reading for Hebei’s Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, Baoding and Handan cities reached the top reading of 500.

Jiangsu, Hebei and Shanxi provinces were also expected to suffer continued polluted and hazy conditions.

The national center said the widespread smog would be driven north to south after the arrival of a cold front in northern areas of the country today.



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