The mercury hits historic levels as Shanghai bakes at 40.9C

Temperatures in Shanghai today have reached record highs not seen since 145 years ago when records began.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A street cleaner has an iced drink today during Shanghai's historic heat wave.

The city is sizzling today in an historic high of 40.9 degrees Celsius, which triggered this year's first red heat wave alert, forecasters said.

According to the local weather bureau, the reading of 40.9 degrees at 2pm tops their record of highs from the past 145 years at Xujiahui weather station, which was established in 1872. The second and third highest readings — 40.8 and 40.6 degrees — were both recorded in 2013.

Today is marked as this summer's 15th high temperature day, which includes days with highs above 35 degrees. The heat and dryness will stay with us until the end of this week, and more scorching temperatures are on the cards.

Possible brief showers or thundershowers may occur in eastern coastal areas of Shanghai this afternoon. There is likely to be a little relief from the heat starting from Tuesday next week, but highs will still come in above 35 degrees, the weather bureau said.

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