Broad swathe of China swelters in high temperatures

SHENZHEN (REUTERS) – Several regions of China including the major south-western city of Chongqing baked in temperatures exceeding 40 deg C on Saturday (Aug 13), while the country’s national observatory continued its red alert for high temperatures.

In Zhejiang, home to many factories and exporters, a meteorological official said that the eastern province had broken its previous record for high temperature days this year, with 31 days above 35 deg C and 16 days above 38 deg C.

Along with Chongqing, which saw temperatures up to 42.1 deg C weather on Saturday, Hubei, Hunan, Shandong, Anhui, Xinjiang, Jiangxi and Fujian were among the provinces and regions where temperatures exceeded 35 deg C.

A thunderstorm appeared to have helped spare Shanghai from breaking its 40.9 deg C record on Saturday, though residents of the commercial hub of 25 million still expressed fatigue from the ongoing heatwave.

“It’s like being in a steamer, it’s really hot,” said 70-year-old resident Shen Fengming. “Even if you don’t walk around outside, you’ll still end up sweating.”

“I went to our port and walked around,” said 45-year-old Huang Yi, who works at a container port. “It was just an hour, but my clothes and pants were all wet. Compared with years before, the temperature this year is particularly high.”

Last week, China’s weather bureau warned that the country’s average ground temperatures have risen much more quickly than the global average over the past 70 years and will remain “significantly higher” in the future as the challenges of climate change mount.