Hot, dry but expected

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 August, 1998, 12:00am

July was hot and dry, but compared with the extremes of last year, it was just an ordinary month, statistics from the Observatory show.

Temperatures soared to more than 30 degrees Celsius for the last 20 days of the month, which coincided with a long dry spell. Only one day had more than a few millimetres of rain; most had nothing but a trace.

Last year, Hong Kong was drenched by 746mm of rain in the fourth-wettest July since records began.

Although the total so far this year was just 267.2mm, or 83 per cent of normal at the Observatory's Tsim Sha Tsui monitoring base, it was a long way from the 1964 record when just 103.6mm of rain was recorded.

Heat shelters were opened and the Observatory issued warnings on how to avoid heatstroke and sunstroke, but climatological records show average maximum temperatures were 31.5 degrees - exactly normal for the month - while it was actually cloudier than usual.

But if the hot, dry period continues for much longer, it will be unusual. While a week or two of fine, hot weather is common for July, the rain should soon make its mark, the Observatory says.

Isolated showers are expected today and tomorrow, with more rain on Friday. It is predicted to become fine again on Saturday.