More hot days during flood season

Forecasters warn city residents to brace for sudden downpours, thunderstorms and gales.
AFP

Three women take a selfie on the Bund yesterday against the skyline of the Lujiazui financial area in Shanghai on a hazy day. The city triggered a blue air pollution alarm yesterday, the first time it has been activated since standards for a four-tier system were adjusted last month.

More scorching days and powerful typhoons are forecast for this year’s flood season, which starts on Friday and ends on September 30, it was revealed at a flood-prevention meeting yesterday.

Over the season, some 600 to 700 millimeters of rainfall is expected and residents are being warned to brace for more sudden regional downpours, thunderstorms and gales.

The Xujiahui area is expected to have 25 to 31 “high temperature days” over the four-month period, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees or higher. That’s at least 10 days more than the previous average.

Up to nine days will see highs between 37 and 40 degrees, or “scorching days.” Normally, there are just four such days over the period.

Forecasters said that two to three typhoons, more powerful than usual, may form over the Pacific and affect the city, especially in August.

Bai Tinghui, deputy director of the city’s flood control headquarters, said the situation this year “won’t be easy” considering the weather is estimated to be worse than last year and many important projects are under construction.

He said nearly 8,000 construction projects were in progress, posing challenges to flood control authorities. But inspections had been completed in 16 districts with up to 90 potential hazardous spots. Busy venues, such as the Expo site, Disneyland, airports and railway stations will be paid particular attention to ensure safety.

The city has so far organized more than 100 emergency control teams with 14 pump trucks in case of weather damage.

By 2035, the city’s drainage system will be upgraded and renovated to deal with extreme weather conditions, according to city’s water authority and urban planning and land resources bureau.

The current drainage system is not fully capable of dealing with large amounts of accumulated rainfall when the city is hit by continuous showers. Also, a function is to be added to the current system to process rainwater.

Forecasters also said that this year’s plum rain season would be shorter and drier than usual.

The season usually starts in mid-June and ends in early July along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

This year, it should begin around June 17 and finish earlier than usual.

Precipitation is expected to range between 200 and 260 millimeters, compared with an average of 243.1 millimeters in previous years.

Blue alarm

Hot days and typhoons will be “frequent,” forecasters said.

Meanwhile, Shanghai triggered a blue air pollution alarm at 6:30pm yesterday, the first time it has been activated since standards for the four-tier system were adjusted last month.

A blue alarm, the lowest, is triggered when both slight pollution and short-term heavy pollution are forecast over the following 24 hours.

Construction sites will be ordered to suspend open-air operations and factories, especially those discharging large amounts of volatile organic compounds, will be required to reduce waste discharges.

Intermittent downpours are forecast for today and tomorrow, which will help wash away the dust that formed a light layer of haze, or moderate air pollution, yesterday.

Despite the arrival of rain, the city will still be choked today but air quality will finally improve during the evening, according to Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

From Friday, there will be relief from the rain and temperatures will rise to 27 degrees Celsius. Over the weekend, the high will reach 29 degrees. Around the middle of next week the rain will return, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.


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