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June 27, 2011

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Plum rain season ends after 17 days

THE plum rain season is set to end today after just 17 days - almost a fortnight less than it often lasts.

With the departure of the rain belt that has been over the city, residents will experience fewer thunderstorms but more scorchers, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday.

The plum rain season began on June 10 and normally lasts between 24 and 30 days.

But while shorter than usual, it has been intense, with more rain than is normally seen over a longer period, said the bureau.

Since the beginning of the plum rain season, 253.9 millimeters of rain has fallen on the city. The average in previous years was 244.4 millimeters.

"The plum rain season was stable overall," said Fu Yi, a chief service officer of the bureau.

One effect of the rainy season has been to trigger many parasol trees, widely found along many downtown streets, to shed their bark.

Experts explained it was a normal process of their metabolism and not because of some illness or poisoning, as some residents feared.

"Parasol trees grow new bark every June and July," one expert told the Oriental Morning Post. "Shedding old bark is a normal phenomenon which means the trees are healthy."

With the end of the plum rain, the city is set to heat up, with the mercury staying high.

Under the influence of a subtropical high, the temperature is forecast to reach 32 degrees Celsius today and 35 degrees on Friday.

"In July, Shanghai should have a number of high temperature days with the mercury hitting 35," bureau officials said yesterday.

However, parts of the city will still experience some showers this week, the bureau said.

Today is forecast cloudy and showery with a low of 22 degrees and a high of 32. It is expected to be hazy and the air quality is not forecast to be good, said the city's environmental authority.


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