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July 5, 2013

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Heat wave blazes away but relief is in sight

THIS week's heat wave is expected to continue today as the city faces another blistering hot day with a high of 36 degrees Celsius, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.

Meteorologists said it will be mostly cloudy and thunderstorms are expected in some areas of the city.

The bureau yesterday issued an orange heat alert, the second highest on the city's three-level system, as the high peaked at 37.9 degrees while the low was 29.9 degrees.

The bureau has issued a heat alert every day since Tuesday.

There is some relief in sight, however, as forecasters are calling for rain on the weekend, which will likely bring the temperature down a few degrees.

Surge in patients

The ongoing heat wave has led to a surge in outpatients at hospitals across the city.

More than 10,000 emergency and outpatient registrations have been reported each day this week, according to Huashan, Renji and Xinhua hospitals.

The Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said all city and district-based hospitals need to ensure proper staff levels to deal with the surge in patients.

High temperature days in July are normal, according to Zhang Ruiyi, chief service officer of the bureau.

High temperature days, defined as 35 degrees or above, were recorded from June 30 to July 6 last summer, from July 2-4 in 2011, from July 1-3 in 2010 and from July 1-7 in 2008, the bureau said.

The bureau predicted up to 27 high temperature days this summer.

July heat waves are common due to the arrival of a subtropical high pressure system, meteorologists said.


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