Potent Heatwave Strikes China; Possible Typhoon on the Way
A prolonged heatwave has been in place for this whole week and even a part of last week over most of Eastern China, including the megacity of Shanghai. An upper-level ridge centered directly over Shanghai (but covering the whole region) is contributing to abnormally high temperatures in the region. Scorching heat, ranging from the high thirties to low forties, covered the whole region while remaining in place yesterday. Numerous heat alerts were issued by the Chinese government urging residents to limit outdoor activities, spend time in air conditioned buildings and most importantly, to stay well hydrated. Unfortunately the death toll had risen to 10 people as of Friday, with Shanghai hardest hit.
Such a potent heatwave in this region is not common – it has been said that this one is the worst in 140 years. On August 7th Shanghai broke its all-time record temperature, recording an official high of 40.8°C. Before the recent heatwave began, the highest temperature ever recorded in Shanghai was 40.2°C set in 1934. Shanghai’s average high temperature for August is 32°C. Drought concerns are now coming into play as water sources are starting to run low in the east-central region of China where little to no rainfall is expected in the coming week while the heatwave continues.
The southern coast of China could be under the gun for some drenching rains associated with an incoming typhoon: Typhoon Utor. Utor has still not passed over the Philippines but it is expected to make landfall to the northeast of Manila as a category two. Following its first landfall, it will continue travelling into the South China Sea though there is still a lot of uncertainty as to whether it will curve north into China’s mainland or simply brush the south coast.