Shanghai equaled its hottest day record yesterday when the mercury climbed to 40.6 degrees Celsius at the city’s benchmark observatory, although it was higher in some parts of the city.
The temperature at a weather observatory in central Pudong New Area hit 41.6 degrees at 1:27pm and areas in Jiading District also experienced highs above 41 degrees at that time.
The 40.6 degrees reading at the city’s benchmark Xujiahui observatory, also noted on July 26, was the highest official temperature since 1873. The previous hottest day at the observatory was 40.2 degrees on July 12, 1934.
Yesterday’s official peak came at 1:40pm, making it the second day this summer when the mercury topped 40 degrees and the sixth since the Xujiahui observatory began keeping records.
The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued its fourth red high-temperature alert of the summer, the highest in a three-level system, at 10am yesterday.
The coolest place in the city was in coastal Lingang New City in Pudong where the maximum temperature was 35 degrees.
Today will be another hot day with temperatures again reaching 40 degrees, and forecasters say the heat will continue for another four days at least, with the mercury rising to between 37 and 39 degrees.
Sunday may bring a little relief with a subtropical high moving north, the weather bureau said.
“The city’s extreme heat was caused by three factors: sinking air, southwest wind and dry conditions with no rain,” said Fu Yi, a chief service officer at the bureau.
Ye Dianxiu, an expert at the National Meteorological Center, said yesterday: “Besides the influence of global warming, the accelerating urbanization, decrease of vegetation cover, expanding city size and increasing population density all contribute to the urban heat island effect, which leads to extreme high temperatures.”
Shanghai’s air was moderately polluted with an air quality index of 158 yesterday. Ozone was the main air pollutant, and children, the elderly and people with breathing or heart problems were advised to reduce outdoor activities.
City hospitals said the number of patients they were seeing remained high but the temperature dissuaded many non-urgent cases from visiting.
Xia Lin, of the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, said the hospital received about 4,300 patients yesterday. The hospital usually receives more than 3,000 patients a day.
Xinhua Hospital, one of the city’s busiest medical facilities, has seen around 10,000 patients a day during the recent hot spell, with most arriving in the morning. The hospital receives about 7,000 patient on normal days.
“We started registration at 6:30am for the better convenience of patients,” said Qiu Jiani, a hospital official.
The Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission was advising people to attend neighborhood health centers or district-level hospitals for common and chronic diseases instead of traveling to larger hospitals.
Near hospitals, the heat was proving a problem for patients waiting for a bus home.
“I felt dizzy after standing for 10 minutes in the sun,” said a woman waiting at an unsheltered bus stop near Changhai Hospital.
Passengers said shelters should be installed at every stop.