Red alert as it sizzles past 40 degrees

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Shanghai's first red high temperature alert this year - the highest in a three-color system - was issued at 1:18pm yesterday, warning residents that the mercury would reach 40 degrees Celsius.

"Such scorching days will last for at least five more days," said Fu Yi, a chief service officer at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Outdoor work was stopped due to the extreme temperature.

Today's high is expected to reach 39 degrees, Fu said. There will be some thunderstorms in some areas of the city over the weekend but no relief from the heat

The official high temperature in downtown Xujiahui was 39.3 degrees yesterday, while the southwest part of the Pudong New Area recorded a high of 40.9 degrees at 1:27pm.

Coastal Lingang New City observatory in southeast Pudong recorded the city's lowest temperature - 33.3 degrees.

Some residents queried the official readings released by the bureau every day when their home thermometers showed much higher temperatures.

The weather bureau said its daily temperature readings were recorded by a thermometer in a thermometer shelter, usually 1.5 meters above the ground and place on a lawn away from direct sunlight, wind and rain.

These are the conditions for measuring temperatures set by the World Meteorological Organization, the bureau said.

The temperatures recorded on thermometers at home are influenced by several environmental factors, hence the difference in numbers, the bureau added.

Also yesterday, the city's power load reached a record high of 2,822 megawatts at 1:10pm. About 10,863 electricians in 1,690 teams were sent out to fix electricity problems in the city.

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