The China Meteorological Center (NMC) upgraded the alert from yellow to orange alert, the second-highest warning in China's weather system, in central and eastern regions. (Agencies)
The lingering smog is expected to end in two days, the NMC said. Heavy smog swept central and eastern regions in early December. Some of the regions experienced three to five days of smog, while Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Henan provinces had suffered lingering smog for six consecutive days.
The NMC forecast that a weak cold front on Saturday will do little to reduce the smog, a state-run news agency reported. The good news is that a cold front with gale-force winds is expected to sweep China Sunday and clear the smog.
Temperatures will drop by at least 6 to 8 degrees Celsius from Sunday to Wednesday, the report said.
On Friday, Shanghai was blanketed by dense smog prompting environmental authorities to declare the highest warning of "severe pollution", issued when the ambient pm 2.5 concentration reaches 301 or more.
The smog forced the city's two airports to cancel or delay hundreds of flights, while schoolchildren were ordered to stay indoors.
In recent years, cities across China have been hit by intense air pollution, much of it caused by emissions from coal-burning power stations, with PM 2.5 levels reaching as high as 40 times the World Health Organisation's safety guideline of 25 micrograms.
The China Meteorological Center (NMC) upgraded the alert from yellow to orange alert, the second-highest warning in China's weather system, in central and eastern regions.