Temperatures in Hong Kong swing low this week after balmy weekend
City to experience new bout of chilly weather, after cold spell in early November
After a rather balmy weekend, another bout of chilly weather is expected to hit Hong Kong later this week as a cold front crosses over southern China.
Minimum temperatures are forecast to drop to 17 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and down to 15 degrees on Thursday and Friday as a northeast monsoon brings cooler weather to the region, the Hong Kong Observatory said. Maximum temperatures are set to plunge significantly from 28 degrees today to 18 on Thursday.
Such temperature fluctuations have become the norm over the last month with minimum temperatures two weeks ago dropping to the low teens before gradually warming to the mid to high twenties last week.
The cold front earlier this month was also caused by a northeast monsoon – a cold air and high pressure area which resides over continental Asia in the latter part of the year. “This is quite a common phenomenon around this time as the cold front pushes down from the north,” scientific officer Chan Yan-chun said.
Under the influence of an upper-air disturbance, the drop in thermometer levels this week will be accompanied by mostly overcast and rainy weather, especially for tomorrow and Wednesday.
Thoracic Society president and respiratory medicine specialist Dr Loletta So Kit-ying also warned of an uptick in seasonal influenza cases, which generally follow big temperature swings.
“People often are not ready for [such swings] and flu cases generally go up,” she said. “Children, the elderly and the chronically ill are particularly vulnerable, while asthmatics will also be at risk.”
The average consultation rate for flu-like illnesses at general outpatient clinics was 4.8 cases per 1,000 consultations, lower than the week before but higher than around the same period last year, according to the Centre for Health Protection’s latest statistics. At private clinics, the figure was 47.8 cases per 1,000 consultations, similar to the preceding week.
So recommended the public to get flu jabs as early as possible.
The Legislative Council Health Services Panel will meet today to discuss preparations for a surge in winter flu cases. Next month to April is considered the peak season for flu outbreaks.
The Hospital Authority this year will add 231 beds and boost the numbers of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. Service quotas at general outpatient clinics will also be increased by more than 30 per cent from Christmas to Easter.