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November 20, 2013

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Still autumn, though cold’s on way

A WARMER and dry start to the weekend is forecast, with highs of 19 degrees Celsius, before wet and cold weather arrives on Sunday, forecasters said yesterday.

Yesterday morning saw a low of 1.3 degrees in Fengxian District, the lowest since the meteorological autumn started.

In Qingpu District, the mercury dropped to 1.5 degrees, while in other districts the low was between 2 to 4.4 degrees.

Today will be sunny with temperatures ranging between 6 and 17 degrees. Frost is possible in suburban areas in the morning when the mercury is likely to remain below 5 degrees.

As the weekend approaches, temperatures are set to rise, with lows of 11 degrees forecast on Friday and Saturday and highs up to 19 degrees.

Overcast conditions are forecast on Thursday and Saturday, while Friday should see sunny spells.

But a front of cold air from northwest China will arrive on Sunday, bringing rain and sending the mercury plummeting.

Tomorrow is the 20th solar term xiao xue — minor snow — indicating that the weather is becoming colder with the arrival of frost and snow.

However, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said the city is still in meteorological autumn.

Meteorological winter is determined as starting after the average temperature stays below 10 degrees for five consecutive days. The first day is the first day of winter.

“Although it feels cold, we are unlikely to see winter’s arrival this week as the average temperatures on Monday and Tuesday were both above 10 degrees and the mercury is forecast to rise through the weekend,” said Zhang Ruiyi, a forecaster at the bureau.

But Zhang said that this year’s late start to autumn doesn’t mean the city should expect a late start to winter.

“For example, 1975 saw autumn arrive late, in mid-October, and winter begin early, on November 22, compared with other years,” said Zhang.

Air quality yesterday was lightly polluted. The Air Quality Index reached 119 at midnight with the main pollutant PM2.5 particles.

Their density peaked at about 140 micrograms per cubic meter at 10am — 1.87 times the nation’s standard of 75.



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