China's top meteorological authority maintained a red high temperature alert for the 14th day in a row, forecasting that most regions in southern China will be baked by temperatures above 37 C on Thursday.
In the latest statement on the National Meteorological Center's website, areas in provincial regions including Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Chongqing will experience temperatures as high as 42 C.
Much of Shandong and Henan provinces in northern China will also reach a high of 35 C, said the center.
In the three-day forecast, there is no sign of temperatures dropping. The ongoing summer heat wave will continue to wreak havoc despite Wednesday marking the start of Autumn, or Liqiu in the Chinese lunar calendar, which signals the passing of summer and a cooling of the weather, said the National Meteorological Center.
The center said that Wednesday saw temperatures above 35 C in 16 provincial regions, covering an area of 1.56 million square kilometers, or 16 percent of the country. Some 70,000 square kilometers of the country suffered from extremely high temperatures of over 40 C.
By 4 pm Wednesday, the highest temperature in the country - 43.5 C - was recorded in Jiangjin district, Chongqing Municipality and Fenghua, Zhejiang Province.
On Wednesday, 130 monitoring stations across the country broke their record for high temperatures this year, while 30 of them noted the highest temperature since they were established.
The Xujiahui station in downtown Shanghai witnessed a 40.8 C in temperature Wednesday, the highest since the municipality started to keep weather figures 140 years ago.
This heat wave, which surfaced in July, has caused water shortages, power supply tension and problems with growing crops. About 4 million hectares of farmland in southern China have been affected by the drought, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Monday.
Global Times - Xinhua