Heatwaves are projected to sweep over northern China in the next two weeks, affecting more than 250 million people in areas where temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Temperatures in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia, as well as Hebei, Henan, Gansu, and Shaanxi, will exceed 40°C for four to six days, according to Fang Xiang, deputy chairman of the National Meteorological Center (NMC).

The meteorological center has issued 184 heatwave advisories over northern, northwestern, and southwestern China as of 5:40 p.m. (0940 GMT).

This summer, China has seen significant weather contrasts, with heatwaves in the north and torrential rain and flooding in the south. The administration has blamed climate change, which it claims will have a greater impact on the economy and society. more info

Heatwaves hit roughly half of China’s population in June. According to Fang, a portion of northern China’s power system load reached record highs last month, hurting energy supplies.

“The lasting high temperatures will cause a marked impact on production and life, such as increased pressure on power supply,” Fang said.

He warned of the possibility of forest fires and damage to the steady development of crops such as rice, cotton, and maize at a press conference.

Crops in Shandong, Anhui, Henan, Shaanxi, and Gansu are projected to suffer from drought-like conditions. Fang forewarned.

According to Wang Yawei, a meteorological official, China’s average temperature in June was the highest since 1961.

It was also 0.9 degrees Celsius warmer than the same time last year, he added.

The provinces of Henan and Jiangsu, which have a combined population of more than 180 million people, established new daily electricity use records last month. 

“It’d take magic to defeat magic – only a big storm can break the 40-degree spell of warm weather,” a netizen from Zhengzhou, Henan’s provincial capital, said.

Source: Reuters

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