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Hotter days, less rain expected

LOCALS will have to endure more scorching days but less rainfall this summer compared to last year, mainly because of the city's increasing urbanization and growing air-conditioner use, meteorologists said yesterday.

The city is estimated to experience 22 to 28 days with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius, compared with last summer's 22 high-temperature days.

The highest temperature will edge up to 39 degrees, 0.2 degrees higher than last year's annual high of 38.8 degrees, weather forecasters predict.

Large-scale urbanization is partly to blame for the rising temperatures.

"Concrete is by no means on a par with farmland in terms of heat absorption," said Shen Yu, senior engineer at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. "And the increasing use of air-conditioning only makes things worse."

Air conditioners release heat into the atmosphere.

There were an average of nine high-temperature days in the city each year over the past three decades, according to the bureau.

The sweltering days are likely to occur during the rainy season, Shen said. The city is beset by a rainy season from this month to September. While the plum rain season - a period when a rain belt moves over the city bringing almost continuous rainfall - will last for about one month.

Meteorological officials estimate the plum rain season will start in about two weeks, with a rain volume of 200 to 240 millimeters, slightly less than the average of 244.4 millimeters in recent years.

The total summer rainfall will also be less than its 30-year average.

The city may still face extreme thunderstorms, said Tang Xu, director of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, at a flood-prevention meeting yesterday.

Three typhoons are expected to affect the city's weather, with rain and heavy wind from later this month until September, which will pose challenges for the city's flood-control work.


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