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August 5, 2015

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Typhoon set to end city heatwave

SUPER Typhoon Soudelor is set to bring an end to the heatwave that the city has basked in for more than 10 days.

While Soudelor is not forecast to directly pass over Shanghai, its influence will send temperatures down and bring rain, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday.

Soudelor, which was reported to have yesterday developed into the world’s most powerful storm this year, was last night roaring across the western Pacific with winds of up to 65 meters per second.

It was heading toward Taiwan and was expected to make landfall on neighboring Zhejiang Province or in southeast China’s Fujian Province this Saturday.

Its influence will push down the city high to below 35 degrees Celsius from Friday and bring some rain at the weekend.

Yesterday was the year’s 10th official high temperature day — when temperatures reach 35 degrees.

Benchmark Xujiahui weather station recorded 39.2 degrees Celsius, its highest this year.

Cool sea breezes today and tomorrow will bring some respite from the heat brought by a static high pressure front, with the high dipping 2 to 4 degrees.

There is a chance for some afternoon thundershowers today, said forecasters, though it should be mostly clear through Friday, when rain is forecast.

The high for the weekend is expected to be 32 degrees.

As well as humid conditions, the recent heatwave has also brought a 10-day stretch of ozone pollution.

Yesterday, the city Air Quality Index was 137 — “slightly polluted,” according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

On Monday, the figure was 161, “moderately polluted.”

Unlike the tiny PM2.5 particles that form much of Shanghai’s pollution for most of the year, ozone is colorless and doesn’t catch in the throat.

But experts warn that exposure to high levels of ozone are linked to skin cancer, cataracts and respiratory illness.

Ozone is both a protector and danger, said Li Ting, meteorology post-doctoral fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The ozone in the stratosphere absorbs ultraviolet light, protecting life on earth, but when it’s 10 to 100 meters above us, it’s harmful, said Li.

Shu Jiong, an environmental science professor at East China Normal University, said ozone pollution coincides with summer heat.

Ozone is often formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet light and in summer ultraviolet light is stronger, making it easier for ozone to be produced.

Shu said vehicle emissions, coal burning and the petrochemical industry are the causes of ozone pollution.

Ozone pollution usually reaches its peak between 1pm and 4pm. After that, it decreases and when the light fades it disappears within half an hour.


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