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August 14, 2012

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Hundreds of flights delayed by showers

HUNDREDS of flights were delayed yesterday when severe showers hit the Pudong New Area, officials said.

Shanghai's weather should be mostly cloudy this week while showers could still be frequent in the afternoon, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Temperatures this week should rise again with the strengthening of the subtropical high and the high should reach 35 degrees Celsius in the next few days, the bureau said.

"With the influence of the edge of the subtropical high, the city should experience the high-temperature days again," said Wu Rui, a chief service officer of the bureau.

"The weak cold front to the north is also active these days and afternoon thundershowers should be frequent as well."

Thunderstorms occurred in parts of Shanghai yesterday afternoon and the local weather bureau issued an orange rainstorm alert, the second highest of a four-color warning system.

Dark clouds gathered over Pudong and Minhang District and thundershowers dropped up to 50 millimeters of rainfall.

Besides the rainstorm alert, a yellow lightning alert, lowest of the three-color system, was also issued by the bureau yesterday afternoon. Both of the alerts were lifted by 5:45pm.

More than 230 flights were canceled or delayed yesterday between 11am and 3pm at the airport as the rain alert was issued, said airport authorities.

Flights leaving the city to Asian countries like Japan and South Korea were among the most affected routes, said airport officials. Among domestic routes, planes to Guangzhou, Chengdu and Xi'an cities had the most delays.

Some flights had to land at Hongqiao International Airport and neighboring Nanjing airport, officials said.

Police at the Pudong International Airport said there were not many air travelers stranded as the delayed flights gradually took off as the weather got better.

The maximum temperature in downtown Shanghai hit 36.2 degrees Celsius around noon.


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