China Issues Yellow Alerts as Heatwave Strikes Several Regions

China experiencing a heatwave.
Residents cool off at a beach in Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong province ( on 10 July (Photo: AFP).

China, like Europe and the US, is experiencing an unprecedented heatwave that has the UN calling for decisive climate action.

Despite brief interludes of seasonal rain, sweltering summer heatwaves are anticipated to return to wide portions of China this week and linger until late August, according to a state weather forecaster.

The China Meteorological Administration announced that the southern region, including the provinces of Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Fujian, will see temperatures between 39 and 42 degrees Celsius after 20 July.

Despite some respite for regions such as Hebei, Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou, and Jiangxi over the weekend, maximum temperatures elsewhere are anticipated to exceed 37°C.

The scorching heat will last from 16 July to 24 August across the country for an “extended period” of 40 days, up from the typical 30 days, according to the forecaster’s website.

During China’s summer, the so-called “sanfu,” or “three periods of laying low,” refers to three yearly 10-day spans between July and August when temperatures and humidity are at their highest.

This year, however, the second phase is expected to last longer than usual, reaching some 20 days of heat.

For the previous two weeks, China has seen average temperatures of around 35°C, resulting in buckled roads and increased hospital visits due to heat stroke.

China has issued several yellow alerts in recent days under its four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow, and blue.