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March 5, 2014

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Insects will wake to a chilly Shanghai, forecasters say

TODAY is expected to remain dry but cloudy, though strengthening northerly winds will see a return of the wet weather tomorrow.

The mercury is likely to fluctuate between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius today and between 4 and 7 degrees tomorrow. A high of 8 degrees is expected on Friday and Saturday, with a low of between 4 and 6 degrees, while on Sunday, increased cloud cover will result in a warmer day with a range of 6 to 10 degrees.

Tomorrow sees the start of the year’s third solar term, jingzhe, or the awakening of the insects. Traditionally the season begins with thunderstorms to rouse the sleeping insects, followed by a period of warmer weather.

Despite the tradition, the city’s weather bureau is unconvinced that a warm spell is on its way.

“In recent weeks, Shanghai has escaped the worst of the winter weather, as the cold fronts mostly affected the north of the country,” Man Liping, chief service officer at the bureau, said.

“This winter has been warmer than in the past few years, but it’s still cold in Shanghai,” he said,

The average temperature between December 1 and February 28 was 1 degree higher than the mean for the past two decades (1981-2010), Man told Shanghai Daily.

As the average arrival date of “meteorological spring” between 1981 and 2010 was March 17, it is possible that spring will start this month. However, the first day of the season is determined only once the average daily temperature has been higher than 10 degrees for five consecutive days, he said.

Meanwhile, last month’s heavy rains resulted in the early blossoming of the magnolia trees at the Shanghai Botanical Garden.

The blooms are a good sign that spring is approaching, garden officials said, adding that the trees will likely be in full bloom from mid-March to early April.


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