Shanghai continue to cool down these days. The steps of winter are closer and closer each day. The current temperature in Xujiahui is 15°C.
Some readers will relocate to Shanghai within two months – at least there are 5 persons on my list to have the plan to migrate to Shanghai this November. I know it because most of the emails I got started with a sentence like “I am planning to move to Shanghai this November with my husband/wife/dog/family….” Let me talk a little bit about the weather of Shanghai Winter.
Shanghai Winter is Cold
Believe it or not, Shanghai’s winter is extremely cold. It is colder than Guangzhou (in south China) and it is even colder than Beijing (in north China).
I still remember the first winter I spent in Shanghai. It was 1995 and I was in SJTU Minhang Campus. There was no air-conditioner in my dorm.
Although the temperature very rarely drop to under freezing point (0°C), it feels colder than it actually is. The air is wet, cold and wet in winter. It feels lie standing in the ice water without any protection. The quilt is also wet and feels like a piece of ice. It takes quite some time to warm up the quilt.
Lack of heating equipments is an important reason. Shanghai is the north most city that does not have heating equipments. In cities north of Shanghai, steam heaters are installed in every home and every office. In Beijing, which is 1000 km north of Shanghai, almost every room has heater installed. The central heat supply keeps the rooms warm, dorms, offices, homes, public areas, 24 hours a day. It is very cold outside, but very warm inside. People can wear T-shirt in their houses in winter.
In Shanghai, heating equipment is not a standard configuration for a room. Although most of the rooms have air-condition, it is not as effective as central heating system. It is much more expensive than central heating system. Not every house owner/business are rich enough to turn it on 24 hours a day.
Another reason is the wet air. Located near the sea, the air is wet in Shanghai and it rains often in winter. Wet air feels colder. In Beijing, the main reason for feeling cold is the heavy wind. When you enter a building that is free of heavy wind, it is much warmer. Shanghai is another story. Back to the times when I was living in a dorm, we kept the window during the night since it does not make much difference to keep it open or closed. The window didn’t keep any heat inside the room. So you get some idea of what the Shanghai winter looks like.
No only windows. Wearing more clothes seem does not work either. It is still cold no matter how much you wear – the wet air has its way to reach your body .