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Smog season gets under way


A man, wearing a mask, walks with his bicycle on a foggy day in Shanghai on Tuesday.

Residents can expect the city to be smog-bound for the next few days.

A blue air-pollution alert, the lowest of the four-tier system, came into force at 7pm on Tuesday.

A weak cold front arriving on Wednesday will drive temperatures down to between 12 and 17 degrees Celsius, but it will be too weak to sweep away accumulated pollutants, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Due to lack of any strong wind, the fog will set in today and tomorrow, reducing visibility in the early morning to as little as 500 meters. At 8:55pm on Tuesday the bureau released the second yellow alert for fog of the autumn.

AQI this morning is expected to be 160-180, moderately polluted. The index will fall to 110-130 — slightly polluted — on Wednesday afternoon.

From Wednesday evening, the situation will ease and the AQI should fall to 75-95 tomorrow.

A short shower forecast for Saturday is expected to further clear the skies. Temperatures will stay stable over the weekend between 12 and 17 degrees.

Winter — signalled by five consecutive days of below 10 degrees — does not appear to be on the horizon yet.

The city has been bothered by slight pollution since Sunday with average AQI over 100. According to Yangtze River Delta Region Air Quality Forecast Center, air quality of the region has been affected since yesterday by pollutants, including dust and sand, carried into the area by a cold front.

Early yesterday, some districts including Chongming, Fengxian and Songjiang upgraded the alert to orange. In Songjiang, visibility was just 50 meters. The alert was lifted at 10:22am.

Six flights were canceled at Pudong and Hongqiao airports. Air traffic control issued the second-level orange alert for flight delays at both airports with takeoff and landing capacity reduced by half between 7am and 9am on Monday. Three flights from Pudong were canceled and another delayed for over four hours. Hongqiao canceled three flights. Things were back to normal at both airports by 9am.

Fog forced a few expressways to close all or some of their ramps, including G1501, G15 and G40. Traffic restrictions and speed limitations were enforced on other expressways.

Due to closure of parts of G15 in Jiangsu Province, there were 4 kilometers of congestion at one point.

Ferries across the Huangpu River were not canceled, but boats between Shidongkou and Baoyang.

Source: SHINE

Editor: Shen Ke