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September 24, 2011

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It's official: City enjoying earliest fall in 25 years

IT'S officially autumn, Shanghai weather officials announced yesterday - the city's earliest since 1986.

Despite some recent warm spells, the average temperature remained low enough yesterday, meaning that autumn had arrived, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Autumn is proclaimed when the 24-hour average temperature drops below 22 degrees for five consecutive days after liqiu, or "beginning of autumn" on the Chinese lunar calendar, usually around August 7. The first day of the five is then considered the first day of the new season.

The city's average temperature has been below 22 since Monday, so that was when autumn arrived, the bureau said. Autumn usually begins in Shanghai around September 27, and this autumn is the earliest in the past 25 years, the bureau said. In 1986, autumn began on September 17.

But there could still be some warm weather to enjoy, officials said. Today is forecast to be sunny with a low at 18 degrees Celsius and a high of 26. Tomorrow should be cloudy with the low rising to 20 degrees. Showers are forecast at the beginning of next week but temperatures should then gradually climb to 28 degrees.

Yesterday was qiufen, or the autumnal equinox, which means that nights will be longer than daylight hours for the next six months.


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