Heat wave hits parts of China
BEIJING, July 4 (Xinhua) -- An intense heatwave is sweeping through parts of China, with several regions reporting scorching temperatures Thursday.
In Beijing, a total of 306 monitoring stations citywide recorded temperatures of above 38 degrees Celsius in the day, among which 45 reported readings above 40 degrees Celsius.
The highest temperature, 42.9 degrees Celsius, was monitored at a station in the city's Changping District.
The Beijing municipal observatory renewed a yellow alert for high temperatures at 5 p.m. Thursday and forecast heavy rain from Friday to Sunday to bring down the temperatures.
North China's Tianjin Municipality on Thursday afternoon issued its first red alert for high temperatures this year, as temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius were registered in parts of the city.
The red alert represents the most severe situation in China's four-tier color-coded weather warning system, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
The city's maximum temperature is forecast to drop to around 35 degrees Celsius Friday thanks to east winds, according to the Tianjin municipal observatory.
The heat wave also continued to scorch the northern province of Hebei. As of 2 p.m. Thursday, 42 cities and counties across the province had issued a red or orange alert for high temperatures.
The central and southern parts of the province saw maximum temperatures of 37 to 40 degrees Celsius. Residents were advised to take protective measures.
East China's Shandong Province also issued an orange alert for high temperatures Thursday, saying that temperatures could rise to 37 degrees Celsius or higher in seven cities including Binzhou, Dongying, Dezhou, Liaocheng, Jinan, Zibo and Weifang.
Shandong has been plagued by the hot and dry weather since May. Data showed the province's average precipitation in May and June stood at 56 millimeters, nearly 60 percent less than previous years.
The water level of Baotu Spring, a famous scenic spot in Jinan, the provincial capital, has continued to fall below the warning mark.
The National Meteorological Center renewed a yellow alert for high temperatures Thursday afternoon.
According to the National Meteorological Center, temperatures could rise to 38 to 40 degrees Celsius Friday in some areas in the provinces of Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Some regions could see temperatures of above 40 degrees Celsius.