Friday, April 12, 2024
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Beijing heat wave sets multi-day temperature record

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

The Nanjiao observatory in southern Beijing on Saturday for the first time recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (°C) for a third consecutive day, according to the China Meteorological Administration. In nearby Hebei province and the port city of Tianjin, temperatures 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, red indicates the most severe conditions, ones with potential health and safety hazards.

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.

Beijing experienced its second-hottest day on record on Thursday, when temperatures soared to 41.1°C.

It was also the highest temperature ever recorded in China’s capital during the month of June. The city experienced its all-time recorded high of 41.9°C on July 24, 1999.

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

The hot weather 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 were expected to drop to around 34°C today before rising again later next week.

People use a sun hat and an umbrella to protect themselves from the sun as they walk outside a shopping mall on an unseasonably hot day in Beijing, China. PHOTO: AP