In June 2022, a severe heat wave began to hit China. It affected several regions in China and in August, several heat records were broken across the country. According to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), it is the country’s worst heat wave on record.
According to weather historian Maximiliano Herrera, it is the most severe heat wave recorded anywhere: “This combines the most extreme intensity with the most extreme length with an incredibly huge area all at the same time. There is nothing in world climatic history which is even minimally comparable to what is happening in China.”
According to the CMA, the nationwide average temperature in June was 21.3 °C. It was 0.9 degrees higher than in the same period last year, making June the warmest since 1961. In northern Henan province, the hottest days on 24 June were Xuchang with 42.1 degrees and Dengfeng with 41.6 degrees recorded since records began.
Maximum temperatures were recorded across the country in August. At the same time, less water fell in the Yangtze area than at any time since 1961.
As a result of the drought and the increasing power consumption due to the heat, there was a resulting energy crisis of which several factories had to be shut down. The heat wave also caused far-reaching effects on the country’s economy.
Because of the drought and persistent heat, there were more forest fires in China, particularly in the Chongqing region. Also because of the lack of rain and the persistent heat, the level of the Yangtze dropped sharply, and the Three Gorges Dam was opened as a result to direct water into that river. It has been reported that silver iodide was used to form clouds in Anhui and other provinces.