People drive vehicles on a street amid a heat wave warning in Fuyang, Anhui province, China August 13, 2022. cnsphoto via REUTERS/FILE Photo

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SHANGHAI, Sept 7 (Reuters) – As many as 267 weather stations across China recorded their highest temperatures in history last month after a heat wave lasting more than 70 days damaged crops and left havoc on the power supply, the National Weather Bureau said.

This year’s heat wave began on June 13 and did not officially end until August 30, driven by an unusually large and intense Western Pacific subtropical high temperature system that spans large parts of the Asia. Water levels in some rivers and lakes have reached their lowest point, drying up farmland ahead of the crucial fall harvest.

The duration, intensity, extent and impact of the heat wave made it the largest since records began in 1961, Xiao Chan, vice director of China’s National Meteorological Center, said during a briefing. a regular briefing on Tuesday.

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The national average temperature stood at 22.4 degrees Celsius (72.32 degrees Fahrenheit) for the whole month, 1.2°C above the seasonal norm, while average rainfall fell by 23 .1% at 82.4 millimeters, the third lowest since records began, he said.

Southwestern China has been hardest hit, with temperatures reaching highs of 45C in parts of the Chongqing region. Neighboring Sichuan province has also seen sharp declines in hydropower generation, forcing power rationing across the region.

Zhao Zhiqiang, an official with China’s weather modification bureau, told the conference that 75 cloud seeding operations were carried out in August, covering 1.45 million square kilometers of territory.

Despite heavy rains in Sichuan and Chongqing since early September, parts of the central Yangtze basin remain drought-stricken, including Hubei, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces, Xiao said.

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Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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