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February 1, 2011

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January the coldest for 30 years, forescasters say

JANUARY'S temperatures were the lowest in Shanghai in the past 30 years as cold fronts hit the city, weather forecasters said yesterday.

The city's average temperature last month was 2 degrees Celsius, less than half the average 4.3 degrees. It was also the lowest since 1977, when the mercury dipped to 1.3 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

There were 17 days last month when the low was below zero, with the lowest figure on January 16 when the mercury fell to minus 4.4 degrees. Average readings for January 16 and 17 were below zero.

"The weather in January was mostly overcast," Shen Yu, a senior engineer at the bureau, said yesterday. "The daytime temperature was not high and the gap between day and night was small."

Meanwhile, precipitation levels last month were lower than average, the bureau added. In downtown Xujiahui, precipitation was only 19 millimeters last month, 60 percent less than the average figure of 52.5 millimeters.

This month is expected to be much warmer than usual.


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