Last month was Hong Kong’s warmest October on record
Mean temperature hit 26.8 degrees Celsius thanks to global warming and weak northeast monsoon
Hong Kong’s warmest October since records began in 1884, with a mean temperature of 26.8 degrees Celsius, could soon be followed by one of its hottest Lidong Festivals.
According to Hong Kong Observatory scientific officer Tong Hang Wai, last month’s weak northeast monsoon and ongoing global warming were primarily responsible for the extremely high temperatures.
The weak monsoon led to a lack of cold air coming from the north.
“The weak monsoon during past month is [part of] the natural variability of the climate,” Tong said.
He added that no special human factors were found to account for this phenomenon.
Tong said there was “no definitive answer” for October’s high temperatures. But he said that global warming and the city’s increasing urbanisation “made it easier” for the mean temperature to reach a record level.
Although the city will experience some replenishment of the northeast monsoon in the next nine days, this year’s Lidong Festival on November 9, which marks the first day of winter on the lunar calendar, could potentially be one of the hottest on record as the mercury is expected to hit 29 degrees.
While the previous highest mean temperature recorded in October dates back to 2008, at 26.5 degrees, the previous highest temperature recorded on Lidong was 29.4 degrees, in the same year.
In the lead-up to this scorching October, the city also saw a relatively hot September during which the mean temperature was about 0.2 degrees above normal.
The Observatory said there would be two waves of replenishment during which cold and dry air from the north could drive the temperature down to about 20 degrees later this week as well as later next week.
But the Lidong Festival is likely to be a hot one as it will take place in between the two waves.