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Hot summer may break short spring record

By Wang Yizhou (Global Times)

08:28, May 07, 2012

With summer thought to be right around the corner, this spring may very well turn out to be the shortest season experienced by local residents in the past 139 years, the city's weather authorities said Sunday.

The city's temperature high soared to 32.6 C, just 0.2 C-degree below the May 6 record set in 1944, according the city's meteorological bureau.

The near-record temperature high helped raise the city's average temperature to 26 C yesterday, the day after Summer Solstice, when the average temperature hit 24 C.

After the solstice, summer is recognized only when average temperatures have remained above 22 C for five consecutive days.

Local weather authorities were confident yesterday that average temperatures over the next three days would stay above the threshold - to realize May 5 as the city's entry into summer this year. If this occurs, Shanghai will have had the shortest spring in its entire recorded meteorological history, said authorities.

However, there is a slight chance of a rain system - that moved into the city from North China last night and could stay until Wednesday - pulling average temperatures down below 22 C from tomorrow, admitted authorities.

While Zhu Jiehua, a meteorologist from the city's weather bureau, doubted yesterday that the rain would be strong enough to stall the onset of summer, she was unable to say for sure due to a strangely similar situation last year - when rainy weather managed to delay the city's entry into summer by several days.

"After all, it's hard to break 139-year-old records," she told the Global Times yesterday. "But, if it we do see summer this week, then it will mean that this spring has only been 42 days long - and the shortest season since 1873."

In 2009, spring was most unusually short; summer came on May 6, long before the typical June 22 entry into summer, she said.

Meanwhile, the hot, stagnant summer-like weather aided a third day of light air pollution in the city yesterday, but local authorities predicted that the rainy weather would help clear the air this week.

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