Beijing sizzles with hot weather alert at highest level

Image: Reuters A woman walks with cold patches on her forehead and neck amid a red alert for heatwave in Beijing, China June 23, 2023.
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Beijing has issued a “red” alert, the highest level in its color-coded alert system, due to the extremely hot weather conditions in the city.

Temperatures in many parts of the Chinese capital have soared up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The official temperature measured by the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Observatory reached 40 degrees Celsius on Friday, marking the first time in the observatory’s history that such a high temperature has been recorded for two consecutive days.

On Thursday, the maximum temperature in Beijing surpassed 41 degrees Celsius, breaking the record for the hottest day in June. The previous June high was set in 1961 when the temperature reached 40.6 degrees Celsius. Thursday’s maximum temperature was the second-highest ever recorded in the city, just below the record of 41.9 degrees Celsius set on July 24, 1999.

China employs a four-tier weather warning system, with red being the most severe. A red alert indicates that temperatures are expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius within 24 hours. The China Meteorological Administration stated that high temperatures are expected to persist in northern parts of the country for the next eight to ten days. Monitoring and warnings for high temperatures will continue in several regions, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, and Inner Mongolia.

In Tianjin, another city in northern China with a population of over 13 million, temperatures on Thursday reached 41.2 degrees Celsius, breaking local records. Local authorities have cautioned about the potential health impacts of the prolonged high temperatures, advising people to stay hydrated, drink at least 1.5 liters of water daily, and limit outdoor activities.