Amber rainstorm warning adds to bad run of weather

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the first amber rainstorm warning of the year late last night, heralding the arrival of seasonal rains.

The bad weather is set to continue until Sunday.

The observatory said it recorded 60.9mm of rain yesterday until 11pm. It issued its first thunderstorm warning for the day at 3am, which led to the cancellation of the flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. Another warning was issued at 5.30pm as conditions remained poor.

'It will continue to be cloudy and rainy in the next few days,' said Choy Boon-leung, a scientific officer at the observatory.

'And by Thursday evening or Friday morning we are expecting the weather to worsen, with maybe more thunderstorms,' he said. 'It will also be cooler on Friday.'

He added that Hong Kong would not be able to witness the 'parade of the five planets' - where Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn would be visible to the naked eye - at its best.

'The skies won't be clear until the beginning of next week,' Mr Choy added. 'But the public should still be able to see the parade next week, even though the planets will be further away compared with Friday.'

The police have issued a warning to motorists to drive carefully, saying braking distances should be doubled in wet conditions. Motorists are also advised to turn on headlights to improve visibility.