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It’s still winter in Shanghai

Snow in Shanghai

Normally winters in Shanghai are not that cold, the temperature generally hovers around 5 or 10 degrees Celsius but it hardly ever drops below zero. It feels much colder though, because the Shanghai air is quite humid and most buildings don’t have central heating. Personally I prefer real winters like in Beijing, with very dry air (too dry actually, I always had humidifiers in every room) and temperatures far below zero Celcius.

But it looks Shanghai is trying to catch up with Beijing: today for the third time this winter it is snowing in the city. Very unusual, you normally only see snow once every few years. It’s been snowing for several hours already, but the snow does not stay on the ground yet (at least not in downtown Shanghai) like a few weeks ago.

This weekend we had a problem with our shower, for some reason the water did not flow out anymore. We tried to unclog the pipes but nothing worked. Eventually we got some work men to help, but even they didn’t understand what the problem was and they wanted to come back with other tools on Monday. But Sunday night the water was suddenly gone. I turned on the shower and the water disappeared as usual.

So Monday morning we planned to take a shower there again and guess what: the water again did not flow out. This was quite strange, and we told the work men the story when they arrived. They couldn’t figure it out either, and checked out the whole pipe. Then they found what happened: the water in the pipe was frozen! This never happened before to us in Shanghai, so we did not even think about this as a potential cause. Our house is clearly not built for sub-zero temperatures, because it was only -4 or -5 at night.

As ‘proof’ of how unusual these temperatures are, the Shanghai Daily had a picture yesterday of a boy playing next to a creek with a big chunk of ice. The fact that there was some ice on the water was news in Shanghai! The weather will not change much over the next couple of days so we might see more of these pictures. I feel sorry for all the people without heating in the city…

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  1. Interesting one indeed!

    I am always wondering what will happen in Hong Kong if/when it starts freezing.

    The majority of pipes are not insulated and are outside the houses, this includes water, gas as well as drains.

    Although we had a number of low temp days (5c), the chance of frozen pipes in the majority of the city is very low still.

  2. Sigh, I wish it would snow in Beijing 🙂 At least the pollution is less, and being dry you can run outside *SHOCK HORROR!*