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The Rainy Season Is Here Again
The photo shows that after being dismissed from a day of lessons, students from Shanghai's Chongqing Road N. Primary School walk into the rain yesterday afternoon.

Shanghai officially entered the plum rain season yesterday, kicking off two to three soggy weeks of miserable weather. Showers and lightning storms are predicted for today.

The plum rain season, named after the fruit that is harvested at this time of year, is caused by an annual rain belt that hovers over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in mid-June.

Shanghai is situated on the northern border of the region. Local meteorologists say it is still too early to predict how long the rain season will last or how much rainfall the city will receive.

Last year, Shanghai entered the plum rain season on June 17 and the season lasted for 11 days.

The city's chief meteorologist, Yao Zuqing, can forecast the weather for the next three days, however - rain, rain and more rain.

"One remarkable weather phenomenon during the plum rain season is the amount of rain we get in such a short period," said Yao. "People should be well prepared for that."

Too much rainfall has caused flooding in Guangxi, Sichuan, Fujian and Jiangxi, but that problem isn't expected to threaten Shanghai.

Lightning storms may occur today and the total rainfall for today and yesterday was estimated to be between 40 and 70 millimeters.

Meteorologists said that the rain belt over the lower reaches of the Yangtze River is moving a little northward, totally covering Shanghai, which was at the edge of the belt before yesterday and enjoyed plenty of sunshine since the start of this month.

The extreme high temperature for this week may wander between 34 and 35 degrees Celsius and the average is expected to be 26 degrees.

Meteorologists say this is a good time to pay extra attention to the preservation of food, as well as clothes, as humidity during the next few weeks will make them go moldy quickly.

(eastday.com June 20, 2002)

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