Locals look to escape the heat as Xinjiang climbs toward record temps

World Today

A reader reads at a bookstore in Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, July 16, 2015. Bookstores with cool and comfortable environment have provided a good place for people to read during the days when heat wave hit Shenyang. (Xinhua/Zhang Wenkui)

Areas in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region may see temperatures rise to record-breaking levels in the next three days, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said Monday.

The region has baked under a lingering heat wave over the past week, with temperatures climbing above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in most areas, with some reaching 45 degrees (113 Fahrenheit), according to the NMC. The “rare” heat was mainly affected by strong subtropical high pressure, the agency said.

The autonomous region saw a red alert for high temperatures on Sunday for the fourth day. Red represents the most severe weather in a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, followed by orange, yellow and blue. Under the red alert, outdoor work should be suspended due to the risk of heat stroke.

Last week, the ten hottest areas in China were all in Xinjiang. Locals joked that under the scorching sun, “humans were almost grilled meat short of a handful of cumin seed” — a reference to the seasoned lamb kebabs famous throughout the region.

The highest temperature in Xinjiang was recorded in the Turpan Basin, where ground temperatures hit a mind-boggling 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) last Sunday.

The weather service warned that the heat will raise fire risks in forest and grassland areas and is likely to cause sudden flooding brought by melting snow on mountains.

Story compiled from Xinhua News.