A wave of warm weather rolled into Shanghai on Saturday, pushing temperatures up to 31.2 C, a 120-year record high for mid-April, according to a local weather station.
Cloudy weather and showers, starting on Sunday, will bring temperatures in the municipality down to around 27 C on Wednesday and 20 C on Saturday, according to forecasts.
The last time Shanghai's mid-April temperatures surged above 30 C was in 1896, when the mercury hit 33 C, said Kong Chunyan, chief service officer at the Shanghai Central Meteorological Station.
The city experienced a warm front and a weak southwesterly inland wind over the weekend. These, combined with low humidity and minimal cloud coverage, resulted in the temperature spike, Kong said.
Shanghai, which has a subtropical climate, usually experiences its hottest weather between June and September, with the highest on record being 40.8 C in 2013.
Beijing also experienced unusual warmth on Saturday, with temperatures reaching 31.1 C. It was the first time the 30 C mark has been passed this year, coming 20 days earlier than when the city usually starts to experience such temperatures.
Beijing's peak temperature is forecast to drop to around 23 C on Tuesday due to a cold front moving east that will bring clouds and light showers.
Zhang Manyu, a 38-year-old businesswoman who visited Beijing over the weekend, said the heat surprised her.
"The weather was so hot, I thought summer had come early," she said. "Luckily it will get cooler, so the spring wear I brought will be useful again."
A sandstorm is predicted for Beijing on Monday－the largest in the northern region this year, the capital's environmental monitoring center said on Sunday.