Beijing experiences longest hot-weather spell in decade

16:13, July 27, 2010      

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Beijing is experiencing its longest hot-weather spell in a decade, and it is expected to continue until Friday.

This month the Chinese capital has experienced 10 days with a maximum temperature in around 35 degrees Celsius -- the most for the month of July in a decade.

"The hot and humid weather will continue until Friday. Rain will cool things down on the weekend," said chief weather forecaster at the Beijing Meteorological Station Sun Jisong Tuesday.

Meteorological authorities said Tuesday hot weather will continue to affect northern parts of China, including Beijing, Tianjin, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, as well as the provinces of Shanxi and Hebei, over the next three days.

Beijing and Tianjin are recording record high power consumption levels because residents have switched on air-conditioners to cool down.

Tourism on the grasslands in Inner Mongolia has also suffered from the heatwave.

The grasslands usually offer respite from heat for city-dwellers. But this month the grasslands have wilted under temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius.

Ma Yongsheng, deputy director of the local tourist bureau, said the number of tourists to the region's grasslands in July has halved compared with the same period last year, with only about 20 million visitors arriving.

Still, he said in addition to the drought-triggered degradation of the grasslands, the decrease in tourists is also attributable to the Shanghai World Expo.



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