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Plum rains boom with thunder

THE first day of the plum rain season started out hot and humid yesterday and ended with thunder and rain.

Thunderstorms will continue today but the mercury is expected to drop, weathermen said yesterday.

Flights at Pudong International Airport were affected by the thunderstorms which started around 3pm, Pudong airport authorities said.

By 9pm last night, more than 40 incoming and departing flights on both domestic and international routes had been delayed at the Pudong airport and four others were cancelled.

Flights at Hongqiao Airport were not affected.

The maximum temperature reached 37.4 degrees Celsius yesterday, the highest of the year so far.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued an orange heat alert at noon -- the second most serious alert on the three-level warning system.

Gales and thunderstorms hit most areas of the city in the afternoon. The bureau issued a yellow gale alert and yellow lightning alert in succession.

"The wet and warm air current from the southwest was strong, bringing the city both heat and rain," said Man Liping, a forecaster with the weather bureau.

Thunderstorms or rainstorms are forecast to continue today and tomorrow. The maximum temperature will range between 30 to 32 degrees after lows of 24 to 25 degrees. Cloudy days are expected after Tuesday and the rain will return on Thursday, the weather bureau said.

Forecasters warned that thunderstorms hit frequently during the plum rain season, which lasts for about 20 days and brings hot periods.

The total rainfall during this year's plum rain season is expected to be less than normal, about 244 millimeters, the bureau forecast.


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