China's west swelters under record temperatures

Updated: 2007-06-25 09:25

Westernmost China's Xinjiang region was under a blistering heatwave Sunday, with the mercury hitting as high as 44.8 degrees Celsius (112.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Turpan city, a local official said.

Turpan is usually regarded as the hottest place in China, but in June temperatures normally average about 31 degrees Celsius, a meteorologist at the Urumqi meteorological bureau said of the desert region.

In northern Xinjiang, where temperatures are usually milder, the mercury Sunday hit a record 41.7 degrees Celsius in the town of Shihezi, the official said by phone.

"This is the highest temperature recorded in Shihezi in 30 years," she said while declining to identify herself.

The People's Daily said the mercury hit 43.2 degrees in Shihezi on Saturday, but the local official said the report was wrong and the high was 41.2 degrees.

Average temperatures for Shihezi in June are about 31 degrees, she said.

"It is too early to say with any certainty that these temperatures are due to global warming," the official said.

"But normally we don't get such high temperatures until July."

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