On June 22, temperatures in China’s capital, Beijing, soared past 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41.1 Celsius) shattering the record for the hottest June day ever recorded in the city which was logged on June 10, 1961 when temperatures breached 105 Fahrenheit (40.5 Celsius).
The scorching temperatures were recorded by the Nanjiao weather station — which is considered the city’s main gauge — in Beijing’s southern suburbs, at 3:19 p.m. local time, according to the Beijing Daily.
“This station has only hit temperatures exceeding 41C three times since records began,” the weather service said. “Baking heat will persist in Beijing for the next two days, with temperatures perhaps reaching 38C to 39C.”
Temperatures soared even higher in Tanghekou in Beijing’s northeast, with the small township recording a scorching 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 Celsius), making it the hottest spot in China on Thursday.
The oppressive temperatures prompted Beijing authorities to issue an orange alert, the second-highest severe weather warning possible, with authorities warning that high temperatures will persist until Saturday. Residents can expect to endure temperatures of at least 102 Fahrenheit (38.8 Celsius) over the following days.
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The highest temperature ever recorded in the capital — home to approximately 22-million people — was on July 24, 1999, when residents endured a grueling 107 (41.7 Celsius).
The stifling temperatures follow a major heatwave that descended on Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong last week, which prompted China’s national weather bureau to issue an alert for heat stroke and to halt outdoor work during the hottest period of the day.
In nearby Tianjin, which has a population of roughly 13 million people, temperatures broke records as well, with the western Xiqing district recording its hottest June day, 105 Fahrenheit (40.6 Celsius), since records began.
Across China, 17 weather stations “recorded record high temperature extremes,” the National Meteorological Centre reported.
On Weibo, a popular social media platform in China, one user wrote, “It never used to get this hot in June before, but now it’s so hot my hands are trembling.” Another wrote, “Are there three suns blazing over Beijing right now? It’s hot enough to cause a breakdown.”
The oppressive heat coincided with the country’s annual Dragon Boat Festival, a three-day holiday when millions go outside to socialize and celebrate.
High temperatures are expected to persist over the coming days.
“These current high temperature weather systems are affecting large areas and persisting for a long time,” CCTV, a state broadcaster, said on Thursday.
Authorities in many parts of China are urging residents to “avoid exercising outdoors for long periods … and take effective measures to shield from the sun.”
Red alerts, the highest alert in China’s early-warning system, were issued for a number of regions in China which signals to seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions to take precautions.