Longest cold snap in 40 years to keep city shivering into next week
Hong Kong's has shivered through its longest cold spell in 40 years - and forecasters say the chilly weather will continue for at least another week.
The minimum temperature is expected stay between 9 degrees Celsius and 12 degrees until Sunday.
'A cold winter monsoon will keep bringing cold weather to southern China,' Observatory scientific officer Yeung Hon-yin, said yesterday.
By yesterday, the minimum temperature in urban areas had been 12 degrees or less for 20 days. The longest recorded cold stretch was 27 days in February 1968. The second-longest cold period was 21 days in January 1918.
Mr Yeung said the temperature would rise slightly at the weekend - with the maximum nudging up from today's 13 degrees to 15 degrees on Saturday and the minimum forecast to hit 13 degrees on Sunday. But there was no sign slightly warmer weather would continue into next week. 'It will get cooler again, with the temperature to remain around 12 degrees. It will not get warmer so soon.'
Experts have urged competitors in the Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon on Sunday to pay special attention to keeping warm.
The Observatory also revealed yesterday that the cold snap has set a record for the longest cold weather warning since the alert system began in December 1999.
The latest warning was issued at 3pm on January 24 and by 8pm yesterday had lasted for 19 days, or 461 hours - more than double the second-longest record of 205 hours, set in 2004.
Scientist Tse Shuk-mei declined to predict if the warning would remain in force until next week.
The Senior Citizen Home Safety Association has received more than 25,983 calls from the elderly seeking help since the warning was issued. Nearly 2,000 people have been admitted to hospital, most for respiratory problems.