The long stretch of sizzling heat in Shanghai will persist through Monday, the weather bureau said yesterday.
Despite weak easterly winds bringing cooler air to the city, the mercury still hit a high of 38.8 degrees Celsius yesterday. Today's high will dip to about 37 degrees Celsius, and the maximum temperature for the rest of the week will be even lower, between 35 to 36 degrees, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
The subtropical high pressure system dominating the city will weaken from next week, which is likely to break the long heat spell.
Meanwhile, cooler air from the north may soon press maximum temperatures below 35 degrees.
The city's power usage also reached a new high under the scorching weather. The electricity supplier has begun deploying helicopters from the city police to monitor its grid.
Engineers have used the helicopters to inspect the network in Fengxian and Jinshan districts, an official with the State Grid Shanghai Electric Power Company said yesterday.
The company carries out the inspections annually during peak periods of electricity usage in summer to ensure the safety of the power supply.
The helicopters are fitted with high-definition cameras and other equipment for the engineers to check wires, towers, insulators and nearby trees, the official said.
The helicopter enables engineers to inspect over 100 kilometers of power supply networks on each flight, compared with only 5 kilometers a day by inspecting on foot, said Ye Jinglei, the senior engineer in charge of the inspection.
The city's power demand reached a record 32,682 megawatts around Tuesday noon. Nearly half of the electricity was supplied from outside Shanghai, the company said.
"The city's power supply is still sufficient to meet the demands of the city," the company said yesterday. Shanghai's local power stations' capacity is about 20,000 megawatts, and about 15,000 megawatts from neighboring provinces can support the city.
The city's greenery authority said all landscape lights will be turned off to save power when the temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius. The lights, including those for the landmark buildings on the Bund and along the Huangpu River were turned off on Tuesday as the mercury reached 40.6 degrees.
The Shanghai World Financial Center turned off its landscape lighting on Friday, Monday and Tuesday, management said.
"We will turn off the lights as long as a red alert for high temperatures is issued according to the regulations of the city's landscape authority," a press officer with the building said. The Shanghai Tower and Oriental Pearl Tower have also pledged to switch off lights.