BEIJING (Reuters) – Shanghai saw its hottest day in May for more than 100 years on Monday with temperatures hitting 36.1 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit), continuing a brutal trend of unusually hot weather in the country since March.
Several southern Chinese provinces are expected to swelter under extreme heat over the next few days and weather experts have already predicted another blistering summer, a repeat of last year’s record-breaking more than two-month stretch.
The peak recorded by the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau on Monday beat the previous May record of 35.7 degrees Celsius set in 1876, 1903, 1915 and 2018, according to bureau statistics. Temperatures in the region typically climb even higher in June, July and August.
Earlier, many localities in Sichuan province, which is home to more than 80 million people, issued high-temperature warnings, with some areas maxing out at 42 degrees Celsius, local media reported.
In the next three to five days, the maximum temperature in some cities in Sichuan, located in China’s southwest, will reach 38 degrees Celsius, and hit 42 degrees Celsius in some areas, according to state media.
The China Meteorological Administration said that in the period to Wednesday most of southern China, including Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, will see temperatures rise above 35 degrees Celsius, with some areas reaching 37 to 39 degrees Celsius.
China, known for extreme weather conditions, has also been experiencing torrential rains for weeks in some regions.
Thousands of people were evacuated in northeast Sichuan province as of Monday, a precaution due to heavy rainfall in the area, local emergency response authorities said.
Meanwhile neighboring Chongqing municipality warned of a flooding risk on Monday, expecting water levels at the Jialing river, a tributary of the Yangtze, to rise about 6 metres on Tuesday due to heavy downpours and reservoir dispatching.
(Reporting by Qiaoyi Li, Ethan Wang and Judy Hua; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Jan Harvey)
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