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Shanghai's air quality to be better from today

2013-12-10 11:02 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

An end to Shanghai's current round of pollution is expected today with a significant improvement in air quality following yesterday's wide fluctuations in PM2.5 levels, the local environmental authority said.

The arrival of a cold front is likely to help reduce pollution due to increasing winds this week, forecasters said.

The Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center predicted a drop in the air quality index to 80-110 today from yesterday's peak of 239 as improved weather conditions allowed for the dispersal of pollutants.

An AQI of 101-150 indicates the air is lightly polluted.

Shanghai was cloaked in smog again yesterday as the cold front brought pollutants from the north, but the accompanying winds were said to have had a significant influence on pushing smog out of the city later in the day and would continue to do so today.

The level of the tiny PM2.5 particles that are hazardous to health reached its peak of 360 micrograms per cubic meter at 8am, nearly five times the nation's limit of 75, but within an hour dropped below 280. Although it bounced back to 320 micrograms at 1pm, it slipped quickly and stood at 120 micrograms at 5pm.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued another orange fog alert at 2:47am yesterday when visibility in Baoshan District was down to 300 meters, the lowest of all city districts. However, the alert was removed at 7am when visibility in most areas was over a kilometer.

Brief drizzle in some districts in the afternoon didn't do much to relieve the city's lingering dry spell. However, there will be a chance of rainfall this weekend, according to Wu Rui, a chief service officer with the weather bureau.

Temperatures today and tomorrow won't exceed 10 degrees Celsius due to the cold front, with morning lows dropping to 3 to 4 degrees.

Nationwide alerts for heavy fog and haze which had been in place for seven straight days were lifted yesterday morning as the smog coverage narrowed to eastern regions, the National Meteorological Center said.

It said smog in eastern areas was expected to mostly disperse today. The cold air is strong enough to prevent the smog from returning this week and there will be no such large-scale pollution in mid-December.

Northern regions were the first to get rid of the smog due to northerly gusts of wind on Sunday, while the east needed to wait one more day for the cold front's arrival.

The number of smoggy days in the current round of pollution broke records in 13 provinces and cities.

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