Shanghai’s weather authority has added “cold” alerts to its four-color warning system. From now on, a yellow cold alert will be issued when temperatures are forecast to be below -3 degrees Celsius. An orange cold alert will be issued when temperatures are forecast to drop to below -6 degrees.
Under the yellow alert, residents are advised to keep warm and outdoor working sites are cautioned about freezing and slippery ground. Under the orange alert, it is advised that the elderly and young children stay at home, and households should take measures to prevent burst water pipes.
Chen Qi, from the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, said the alerts will better prepare residents for extremely low temperatures.
At Xujiahui, -7.2 degrees was recorded on a day in January 2016, a historical low.
“We have had the frost alert, but that serves mainly agricultural production, while urban districts could also be vulnerable to extremely low temperatures, especially some old residential complexes with old infrastructure,” Chen said.
The weather bureau also announced updated standards for the existing 12 alerts, the first time since 2007. The standards were updated based on an analysis of all weather alerts issued between 2008 and 2017, according to the bureau.
It now issues alerts for typhoon, rain storm, snow storm, cold storm, gale, cold, frost, heatwave, lightning, hail, heavy fog, haze and road icing.
Cold is distinguished from cold storm as the latter is the alert for both temperature drop and low temperatures.
The new standards also lowered the standards for cold storm and snow storm alerts to better enable residents to make adequate preparations for bad weather.
Chen said the adjustment was made after consultation with the flood prevention authority.