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July 6, 2017

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Plum rain season wasn’t that wet

GOODBYE to the plum rain season — it was short but sweet, and officially ended yesterday.

And sanfu, the hottest period of the year, is coming, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

The plum rain season, marked by muggy weather and intermittent rain, usually begins on June 17 and ends on July 10. Last year, the city experienced the longest plum rain season on record with 31 days. This year, however, the season only lasted 16 days.

This year’s plum rain season has been relatively dry, with only 91.3 millimeters of precipitation, or 37 percent of the average amount, according to Xujiahui Meteorological Station.

What rain there was mostly affected the city’s southern regions. Fengxian was the wettest district, recording 269.4 millimeters of precipitation.

Though the plum rain season is over, the unsettled weather conditions will continue, forecasters said.

Yesterday, the mercury soared due to a subtropical high from the West Pacific Ocean. Around noon, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued this year’s first yellow heat alert — the lowest of a three-level system and forecasting a high of 35 degrees. A high of 36.2 degrees was recorded yesterday afternoon.

By dusk yesterday, orange alerts for rain storms and hail, and yellow alerts for gales and lightning were released. The city’s flood prevention office activated its emergency plan in response.

The Pudong New Area was severely hit, with “egg-sized” hailstones falling in the Chuansha area for an hour. At Pudong airport, 35 flights were canceled and 73 were delayed by 6pm.

Scorching weather is forecast for the next few days, with the high touching 35 degrees. Scattered thunderstorms are likely in the afternoons.

The rain belt will move southward again around Sunday, and heavy rains will hit the city. But the heat will remain high, reaching 35 degrees, forecasters said.

Wednesday will mark the start of the sanfu period — the hottest days of summer in the Chinese lunar calendar.


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