China is poised for more heat waves to return over the next 10 days, with temperatures expected to start soaring 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 failure due to melting glaciers.
This Saturday is the day of “great heat” in the Chinese almanac based on the lunar calendar.
The heat wave is expected to be similar in magnitude to heat waves from July 5 to July 17, but more regions could be affected by temperatures of 40 ° C (104 ° F) or more, said Fu Jiaolan, forecaster in chief at the National Meteorological Center, state media.
Some cities in Zhejiang province, home to many factories and exporters, issued red alerts on Friday – the highest in a three-tier alert system – predicting temperatures of at least 40C in the next few months. 24 hours.
The load on the national power grid could hit a new high this summer as demand for air conditioning in homes, offices and factories increases, with safe operation facing “severe tests”, the Ministry of Management warned on Friday. emergencies.
“For all factories in China and Shanghai, we have regulations that must be followed,” said Leo Zhang, president of chemical manufacturer Sika China.
“Every year we do things to make work more comfortable, like giving workers ice cream when it’s too hot.”
Zhejiang, along with parts of Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi and Chongqing city, were also at risk of short-term wildfires, the ministry said.
In the western region of Xinjiang, accelerated glacial melting through July 29 posed risks to rivers and dams, the China Meteorological Administration said on Friday, warning in particular of a high risk of dam failure on a tributary of the Aksu River near the Sino-Kyrgyz border.
This wave of strong heat would have “some impact” on the melting of snow and alpine 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 Yangtze River Basins – major industrial and commercial centers – were hit with at least 10 days of higher than normal high temperatures.
Heat waves also scorched other parts of East Asia, Western Europe, North Africa and North America, sparking wildfires in many countries.
Scientists warn that climate change will only make heat waves hotter and more frequent.
The highest temperature ever recorded in China is debated. According to Chinese media, the hottest period in the past 300 years took place in July 1743 during the Qing dynasty, with a French missionary in Beijing recording an all-time high of 44.4°C.
In 2015, a local news portal reported 50.3 C at a weather station near Ayding, a dry lake in the Turpan depression in Xinjiang.
Temperatures in the oasis town of Turpan could reach 50C next week, the China Meteorological Administration said on Friday.