Christmas Eve set to be coldest

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 December, 1999, 12:00am

Hong Kong is expected to suffer its coldest Christmas Eve today as the chilly spell continues.

The temperature dropped to 5.8 degrees Celsius in urban areas yesterday, the lowest in eight years, and minus 2.8 degrees at Tai Mo Shan.

Today's lowest temperature is expected to be seven degrees, making it the coldest Christmas Eve recorded at the Observatory.

Previous lows came on December 24 in 1904 and 1929, when the temperature was 7.1 degrees.

The weather is expected to be warmer by next week. It should climb to between nine and 16 degrees on Christmas Day and 13 to 18 degrees on Monday.

People flocked to Tai Mo Shan yesterday morning to see the frost.

About 1,000 people have used government temporary cold shelters since last Saturday. Almost 50 people, mostly elderly, have died during the cold snap.

The Hong Kong Pig Farm Association said the cold spell had caused an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in six farms in the past week, affecting about 1,000 pigs.

Association chairman Wong Kwong-wing said that it was rare to have so many cases in one week.