Good and bad weather news: The air pollution is over, but it's cold

A cold front will dominate this week. But at least it's blown away some severe PM2.5 air pollution.
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Two pedestrians wear face masks to guard against air pollution in Xujiahui on Sunday.

October is set to end on a clearer and cooler note, forecasters said.

Hazardous PM2.5 air pollution hit the city on Sunday morning, with a haze enveloping the sky, causing air quality readings of 217, or severely polluted, at noon.

PM2.5 density rose from 69 micrograms per cubic meter at 9am to 167 at midday, more than twice the national limit.

It’s the first time for the city to have severe PM2.5 air pollution in the latter half of the year, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

From July to Saturday, Shanghai has had 32 polluted days — 19 lightly, 12 moderately and one severely. But 30 of the polluted days were recorded in July and August, and only two recorded in September. The other severely polluted day in the latter half of the year fell on July 24.

After noon on Sunday, the cold front started to gain its strength, lashing the city with stronger winds, which triggered a blue alert for gale at 12:04pm. But the winds also helped to blow away the smog, easing air pollution.

Air quality quickly returned to a fine level within two hours, marking the end of a round of air pollution that lasted four to five hours, according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

The cold front is set to stay until the end of October, forecasters said.

Monday will be cloudy. Commuters are advised to wear more clothing as the morning temperature is set to just hover around 10 degrees Celsius, and the high for the day will only reach 15 degrees. Monday evening will see drizzle in northern and eastern parts of the city.

Temperature will increase to 18 degrees on Tuesday, and return to above 20 degrees, hovering around 22 degrees, on Wednesday and Thursday. After that it will drop below 20 degrees again.

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