Monday, 2 October, 2023

Beijing sizzles in worst heat wave

People asked to stay indoors

TAIPEI: Beijing and parts of northern China are experiencing record temperatures, with authorities urging people to limit their time outdoors, reports AP.

The Nanjiao observatory in southern Beijing on Saturday for the first time recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for a third consecutive day, according to the China Meteorological Administration.

In nearby Hebei province and the port city of Tianjin, temperatures have also soared above 40 C over the past few days, prompting authorities to issue “red” alerts for extreme weather.

In China’s four-tier weather alert system, the red indicates the most severe conditions.

On Thursday, Beijing experienced its second-hottest day on record – with temperatures soaring to 41.1 C (106 F). It was also the highest temperature ever recorded in China’s capital during the month of June.

Beijing’s all-time high of 41.9 C (107 F), since modern records began, occurred on July 24, 1999.

Chinese meteorologists say the current heat wave has been caused by warm air masses associated with high-pressure ridges in the atmosphere and compounded by thin cloud covers and long daylight hours around the summer solstice.

Other countries in Asia have experienced deadly heat waves in recent weeks, which scientists say are aggravated by rising global temperatures, caused partly by the burning of fossil fuels.

In China, the heat wave has coincided with a three-day public holiday, the Dragon Boat Festival, devoted to eating rice dumplings and racing boats propelled by teams of paddlers.

Beijing’s weather authorities urged residents to avoid exercising outdoors for long periods and take measures to shield from the sun.

Temperatures in the capital are expected to drop to around 34 C (93 F) on Monday before rising again later next week.