Dozens Die As China Suffers Worst Heatwave In 140 Years

Written by on August 1, 2013 in Asia, Rest of World with 0 Comments

For the past 3 weeks a large swath of China has been stuck beneath an abnormally strong and stubborn upper level ridge of high pressure which has produced deadly record breaking heat.

Skillet-like pavements have been used to cook shrimp and pork while fish are dying in rivers and ponds across 19 provinces, that’s 3 million square miles and a third of the country. Dozens have died as temperatures pretty much every day for the past 20+ days have soared to well over 38C or 100F.

1375361962000-chinaheat080113-008-1308010900_4_3Authorities for the first time raised a ‘level 2’ alert for the unprecedented heatwave. This is somewhat only used for typhoons and floods according to USA Today.

In Shanghai, home to 23 million people, at least 10 people have died as temperatures have soared to 35C (95F) or above on an incredible 25 days in July with the last 9 days topping 38C (100F). Last Thursday saw a new record high at the city’s airport with 40.1C (105F).

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The 104F mark is said to have been reached in an incredible 40 cities and counties across a large swath of China.

In the city of Hangzhou, temperatures have topped 40C or 104F on six of the last 7 days while temperatures soared to 109F in Fenghua and 42.2C or 108F in Xiaoshan. This heatwave is considered the hottest on 140 years of record keeping in Shanghai and throughout the region.

It’s been so hot in the city of Ningbo in Zhejiang province that glass has cracked, cars self combusted while a billboard along a highway caught fire.

Here are the temperatures China have experienced in recent days and weeks according to the China Meteorological Administration.

Source: China Meteorological Administration/CNN

Source: China Meteorological Administration/CNN

Models suggest the heatwave will continue for another couple of weeks across a large swath of the country as the upper ridge responsible shows no sign of weakening.

Here’s the latest ECMWF chart showing the strong upper ridge and hot 850 temps holding firm across a broad area through next week, especially in the North including the capital, Beijing.

Geopotential3250032hPa32and32Temperature32at3285032hPa_Asia_48

Mon 5

Geopotential3250032hPa32and32Temperature32at3285032hPa_Asia_96

Wed 7

Geopotential3250032hPa32and32Temperature32at3285032hPa_Asia_144

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