Hong Kong weather

Warm, wet and stormy: the Observatory’s take on Hong Kong’s weather in 2016

City recorded a record 38 very hot days, as well as record rainfall in the autumn and frost and ice on top of Tai Mo Shan in January

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 January, 2017, 10:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 January, 2017, 10:37pm

Hong Kong had a “warm, wet and stormy” 2016 as the city recorded a record number of very hot days, the Observatory said.

The city saw 38 very hot days with the daily maximum temperature equalling or exceeding 33 degrees Celsius.

There were also 36 hot nights with the daily minimum temperature reaching at least 28 degrees – the second highest since records started in 1884.

The annual mean temperature was 23.6 degrees, which was 0.3 degrees above the norm from 1981 to 2010.

“The mean temperatures for summer [June to August] and autumn [September to November] ranked the third highest and the fifth highest respectively on record,” the Observatory said in a statement on Friday.

The hottest day of 2016 was on July 9, with the temperature hitting 35.6 degrees, while the lowest of 3.1 degrees was recorded on January 24, when frost and ice were seen on Hong Kong’s highest mountain, Tai Mo Shan.

The annual total rainfall jumped 26 per cent to 3,026 millimetres last year from the average for 1981-2010, making it the ninth highest on record.

There was record-breaking rainfall of 1,078.8 millimetres in the autumn.

“On October 19, torrential rain induced by the combined effect of Severe Typhoon Sarika and the northeast monsoon necessitated the issuance of the first ever Black Rainstorm Warning Signal in October since the Rainstorm Warning System commenced operation in 1992,” the statement said.

The number of days with thunderstorms was 52 last year – 13 days more than what was normal from 1981 to 2010.

Warning signals were issued for nine tropical cyclones, higher than the long-term average of about six in a year.

The No 8 gale or storm signal was issued during the passage of Typhoon Nida in August and Super Typhoon Haima in October.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation’s preliminary assessment, 2016 was very likely the world’s warmest year on record. With unusually high air and sea surface temperatures, the extent of Arctic sea icewas well below average throughout the year. It hit a record low for seven months.