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July 23, 2011

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Shanghai expected to heat up next week

THE heat will be on in Shanghai next week with forecasters saying temperatures will soar to 38 degrees Celsius or higher.

Today and tomorrow, the mercury should hit 35 to 37 degrees. Starting Monday, temperatures are expected to climb higher, with the sizzling weather lasting at least into next weekend, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Forecasters said there will be afternoon thunderstorms from today through Tuesday, and from Wednesday cloudy weather will mainly affect the city.

The scorching weather is likely to impact power supplies. Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd said earlier it might have to limit consumption in some areas if temperatures exceed 37 degrees.

Some stores and factories might need to close to ensure supplies to residential areas, officials said.

The company said the maximum power load is estimated at 28.5 gigawatts under extreme hot weather conditions in July and August, while its maximum production capacity is 27.4GW, including 8.7GW brought in from other provinces via transmission lines.

This means a supply gap of 1.1GW could exist.

Yesterday's maximum temperature was 35.5 degrees.

Today is "Greater Heat," one of China's 24 solar terms, which signals the highest temperatures of the year. Solar terms originated as advice to farmers in ancient China.

The city has been relatively comfortable during the second 10-day period of July, but experts said that didn't mean the climate was unusual.

"The average temperature for the period was a bit lower than that for the past 10 years during the same period," said the bureau's Shen Yu. "But compared with earlier years, the temperature was 0.6 degrees higher."


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