Subtropical highs in the west Pacific have been causing a heat wave in southern China since early July, and it is expected to linger to up to seven more days, a meteorology expert said.
Temperatures in 97 cities and counties across China have hit or topped 40 C, breaking records in 19 of them, Science and Technology Daily reported on Wednesday.
"Subtropical highs in the west Pacific are causing the continuous high temperature in southern China. What's unique about the current heat wave is it lingers and has affected a large swath of the country. It also started earlier than heat waves in previous years," Chen Shuang, a meteorology expert at the National Meteorological Center of China Meteorological Administration (CMA), was quoted by Science and Technology Daily as saying.
Shanghai, East China's Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province are unbearably hot because they are located right next to the center of the subtropical highs, Chen added.
"Subtropical highs are stable and hardly move. Under such conditions, the sky is clear and the air sinks. With little cloud cover and scalding sunshine, the air warms up as it descends, resulting in the expansive and lingering heat wave," Zhang Mingying, a meteorology expert from the Beijing Meteorological Service, told the Global Times Wednesday.
The country's last similar heat wave occurred from late-July to mid-August in 2013, triggering 59 consecutive heat alerts, the report said.
"Typhoons will not ease the temperature. Typhoon Roke approached Hong Kong on Sunday, bringing rain to South China's Guangdong Province, while Typhoon Sonca moved to Vietnam on Tuesday," Gao Shuanzhu, an expert from CMA said.