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April 2, 2012

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Weather set fair for Qingming Festival

SHANGHAI is likely to have dry and warm weather for the three-day Qingming Festival from today, perfect conditions for paying respects to ancestors on the tomb-sweeping day on Wednesday at city cemeteries or to enjoy a spring outing to neighboring provinces such as Zhejiang and Jiangsu.

However, air quality may be slightly polluted due to the dust from the north, forecasters said. Temperatures will reach around 25 degrees Celsius today but it will be cloudy.

Tonight will see the arrival of a cold front from the north with temperatures dropping and some thunderstorms likely overnight. The maximum temperature tomorrow could be in the 9-17 degrees range but Wednesday will see a return to around 21 degrees and some sun as the clouds disperse.

Both today and tomorrow are likely to be windy.

Neighboring cities of Hangzhou, Wuxi, Ningbo and Suzhou, major destinations for local residents during the holiday, should have similar weather conditions, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau forecasters.

Yesterday's air was "slightly polluted" because of a combination of dust from the north and local pollutants, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center said. It had warned people with heart and respiratory diseases and those with weak immunity to stay inside.

Data for PM2.5 particles, extremely small particles said to be hazardous to health, showed that they were above the national standard in parts of the city yesterday.

PM2.5 particles were between 60 micrograms and 90 micrograms per cubic meter at a monitoring site in Putuo District, while at Zhangjiang in the Pudong New Area, they were between 75 and 100 micrograms per cubic meter all day.

China's acceptable daily limit for PM2.5 is 75 micrograms per cubic meter.

Measurements at both sites began to rise from 2am to reach a peak at 10am before dropping in the afternoon.

The center said that air quality was likely to remain slightly polluted this morning but would improve to "good" later in the day.


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