China braces for ‘big hot’ day with temperatures set to soar |  China

China braces for ‘big hot’ day with temperatures set to soar | China

China is set to return to more heatwaves over the next 10 days, with temperatures set to begin rising in parts of the country on Saturday.

Some coastal cities are already at their highest alert level, and inland regions are warning of the risk of dam breaks due to melting glaciers.

This Saturday is the day of the “Great Heat” in the Chinese almanac based on the lunar calendar.

The warm period was expected to be similar in scope to heat waves from 5-17. July, but several regions could be hit by temperatures of 40C (104F) or higher, Fu Jiaolan, chief forecaster at the National Meteorological Centre, told state media.

Some cities in Zhejiang province, home to many factories and exporters, on Friday issued red alerts – the highest in a three-tier warning system – warning of temperatures of at least 40C in the next 24 hours.

Loads on the national electricity grid could reach a new peak this summer as demand for air conditioning from homes, offices and factories rises, with safe operation facing “severe tests”, the emergency ministry warned on Friday.

“For all the factories in China and Shanghai, we have regulations that must be followed,” said Leo Zhang, president of chemical products maker Sika China.

“Every year we do things to make work more comfortable, such as giving workers ice cream when it gets too hot.”

Zhejiang, as well as parts of Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi and the city of Chongqing, were also at risk of forest fires in the near term, the ministry said.

A medical worker sits with ice blocks at a Covid testing site amid a heat wave warning in Nanchang, Jiangxi province
A medical worker sits with ice blocks at a Covid testing site amid a heat wave warning in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. Photo: China Daily/Reuters

In the western region of Xinjiang, accelerated ice melt until July 29 posed risks to rivers and dams, the China Meteorological Administration said Friday, warning in particular of a high risk of dam breaks on a tributary of the Aksu River near China’s border with Kyrgyzstan.

This round of warm weather would have “some impact” on the melting of alpine snow and ice, the administration said.

The heat in China this summer has been described as extreme. From June 1 to July 20, the Yellow River and Yangtse River basins—major centers of industry and trade—were hit by at least 10 days of above-normal high temperatures.

Heat waves have also scorched other parts of East Asia, Western Europe, North Africa and North America, triggering forest fires in many countries.

Scientists warn that climate change will only make heat waves hotter and more frequent.

The highest recorded temperature in China is a matter of debate. According to Chinese media, the hottest period in the past 300 years was in July 1743 during the Qing dynasty, with a French missionary in Beijing said to have recorded an all-time high of 44.4C.

In 2015, a local news portal reported 50.3C at a weather station near Ayding, a dry lake in Xinjiang’s Turpan Depression.

Temperatures in the oasis city of Turpan could reach 50 degrees next week, the China Meteorological Administration said on Friday.

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