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Plum rain season in Shanghai is officially over now

Onto the next stage: 35-plus-degree heat

Photograph: @zniaror via Instagram
The period of popping outside to seemingly bright, sunny skies only to get absolutely drenched about five minutes later appears to be finally at an end. According to Shanghai’s municipal Meteorologic Bureau, this year’s ‘plum rain’ season (梅雨, meiyu) in all its persistent inconsistency officially finished yesterday. So, we can now all start using our umbrellas as shields from the sun rather than for heavy rain.

Photograph: courtesy Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

The plum rains – known for combining intense thunderstorms with intense humidity – were extra-long and suffocating this year, lasting for 31 days from Thursday 10 June to Sunday 11 July. And while in 2021 we welcomed 158.7 millimetres of rain which is nearly 40 percent down from the yearly average, it was also eight more days than what Shanghai residents are usually accustomed to (the average is around 23 days).

Though it’s not quite completely out with the rain, in with the sun just yet (showers are still pencilled in for Tuesday 20), this does signal the time to embrace the new normal – as in the 35-plus-degree temperatures that we experienced last week and today. As tempting as it is to do that in your room-turned-icebox, you could go always go out and sip on some of Shanghai’s best frozen cocktails instead.