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June 20, 2011

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Here comes the sun again ...

THE sun, long time no see, is expected to show up again from time to time this week, although the thunder and showers will continue, Shanghai forecasters said yesterday.

With a rain belt moving to the north, the city's weather should turn mostly cloudy and overcast over the next few days but showers and thunderstorms will still occur in parts of the city, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Temperatures should rise with highs expected to climb above 30 degrees Celsius from tomorrow because of the change in weather conditions followed by the movement of the rain belt, said the bureau.

By 8am yesterday, about 10 days into the plum rain season, precipitation had reached 236.4 millimeters - almost as much as the average 245.2 millimeters which usually falls over the entire season.

Shanghai is now being affected by the edge of the rain belt, the core of which has moved to the region between the Huaihe and Yangtze rivers.

The plum rain season should last for at least another week, said Zhang Ruiyi, a chief service officer with the weather bureau.

"Showers in the following days should not be as heavy as the previous ones this month and should not last so long, either," Zhang said. "But with the temperature rising and the high humidity this season, people may feel stuffy and uncomfortable over the next few days."

Zhang said the city had entered the late phase of the plum rain season, during which conditions would be hot and wet and with less rainfall.

"The plum rain season this year is more like the ones in the 1980s and 1990s, with the rain mostly concentrated in the first half of the period and then turning to mostly cloudy and overcast with high humidity," Zhang said. "After 2000, the city's plum rain season seemed not that typical with high temperature days appearing from time to time among the thunderstorms throughout the season."

Zhang said the intensity of the rain this year was stronger, and forced the bureau to keep its storm alert active from Friday morning to Saturday evening.

Delays at the city's two airports continued yesterday as a result of torrential rain earlier in the weekend, with almost 50 flights delayed.

Meanwhile, vegetable prices have not been affected despite the rain, authorities said.

Officials at the city's Jiangqiao vegetable wholesale market said that, to prevent price fluctuations, they have brought 80 tons of vegetables from Beijing every day.

Supplies at the market remain at around 5,000 tons per day and prices are stable.


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