Beijing, Sep 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) China recorded its highest temperatures and one of its lowest levels of rainfall in 61 years during a two-month summer heatwave that caused forest fires, damaged crops and hit power supplies, the national meteorological agency said, The Guardian reported.
The average national temperature in August, 22.4C, was 1.2C higher than the seasonal norm, while average rainfall fell 23 per cent to 82 millimetres, the third lowest since records began in 1961, according to Xiao Chan, vice-director of China's national meteorological administration.
He told reporters that 267 weather stations across China recorded their highest temperatures in history last month.
The heatwave between mid-June to the end of August was the "most severe" since records began in terms of duration, extent, intensity and impact, said Xiao.
The extreme temperature caused widespread drought in regions along the Yangtze River, south-western China and east and central Tibet, The Guardian reported.
The persistent heat and drought caused forest fires and affected agricultural production, water resources and power supply, Xiao said. The Yangtze is the world's third largest river, providing drinking water to more than 400 million Chinese people, and is the most vital waterway to China's economy.
Meanwhile, severe rainstorms hit various regions, including northern and southern China. Lightning, strong winds and hail hit 13 provinces and regions, including Inner Mongolia and Yunnan, in August.
The agency said it issued 65,000 weather alerts, mostly for extreme heat, in August - 26 per cent up from the same month last year, The Guardian reported.