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Shanghai Sees Hottest May Weather on Record

Shanghai recorded its highest May temperature ever amid an extended stretch of sweltering spring heat.

China’s most populous city saw the mercury soar to 97 degrees F (36.1 degrees C) Monday, beating the previous record of 96.3 degrees F (35.7 degrees) C to become the hottest May temperature in more than a century of record-keeping, Reuters reports. The hot spell comes just weeks after large parts of Europe, North Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia also saw record heat, which scientists linked to climate change.

In addition to coping with extreme heat, much of southern China is also girding against torrential rain. Thousands of people were evacuated from parts of Sichuan Province Monday ahead of forecasted downpours, while the city of Chongqing warned that water levels on the Jialing River could rise 20 feet as a result of expected rainfall.

Later this year, the Pacific Ocean is expected to enter its El Niño phase, with high ocean temperatures setting the stage for record-breaking heat globally. “A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. “We need to be prepared.”

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