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May 6, 2010

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Summer is here, says lunar calendar

SUMMER is still a ways off, but not according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

Yesterday was lixia, which denotes the beginning of summer and is the seventh of 24 Chinese solar terms.

However, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau doesn't declare the start of summer until the average temperature reaches 22 degrees Celsius for five consecutive days. The first of those five days is then declared the beginning of summer. The hot season usually arrives in late May, according to the weather bureau.

"Summer is still far away, but the temperature should climb gradually," said Chen Min, one of the bureau's chief service officers. "After all, it's May now and it's not surprising when the temperature climbs over 30 degrees."

The earliest summer on record was last year when it started on May 6, the bureau said. The latest start to the hot season was in 1995, when it began on June 24.

Meteorologists called for overcast to cloudy skies today with a high of 25 and a low of 17 degrees.

Expect more of the same tomorrow with the temperature between 16 and 25 degrees.

Meanwhile, some flights and ferries were either delayed or canceled yesterday in Shanghai due to bad weather.

About two dozen domestic flights, mainly heading for Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang and Guangzhou, were delayed at the city's two airports due to rain, airport police said. A couple of these flights were eventually canceled, police said.

Also yesterday, strong winds delayed ferries shuttling between downtown areas and local islands.


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