Lunar New Year

Hong Kong weather expected to be cloudy and humid for Lunar New Year

Visibility expected to be low during festivities, possibly affecting Sunday’s fireworks show

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 January, 2017, 7:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 January, 2017, 1:24pm

The first three days of the new lunar year are expected to be mild, cloudy and warmer than the same time during the last two years, as a relatively humid easterly air stream closes in on the Guangdong coast.

Temperatures of around 17 to 23 degrees Celsius are expected during this period. But readings are likely to drop into the mid-teens by Tuesday – the fourth day of the festivities – as a northeast monsoon “surge” returns cooler weather to coastal areas, according to the Observatory.

“The first and second days of the new year will be warm in the daytime, but cloud cover is expected to gradually increase,” said Observatory scientific officer Shum Chi-tai. “But people should be aware that by the evening of the third day of the new year [Monday], the weather will turn cooler.”

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The rest of the week, following the public holidays, is forecast to be mostly fine and sunny.

Humidity in the first three days of the new year is forecast to go as high as 95 per cent on Sunday and Monday, while “one or two rain patches” could be expected in the morning and night.

Visibility is also expected to be low, possibly affecting views of the Lunar New Year fireworks display on Sunday night.

A total of 23,888 fireworks will be shot into the air during the 23-minute display.

This year’s rather mild holiday weather will be a far cry from last year’s chilly week-long spell, which saw temperatures drop as low as 9.9 degrees on Lunar New Year’s Eve and 11.6 degrees on New Year’s Day.

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The mean temperature recorded at the Observatory on New Year’s Day last year – February 8 – was just 14.8 degrees.

The highest temperature ever recorded on New Year’s Day was 25.3 degrees, in mid-February 2007. The lowest was 5.8 degrees, recorded back in mid-February 1950.

Observatory scientific officer Chong Sze-ning said the maximum temperature forecast for this New Year’s Day – around 20 degrees – would not trouble any records, but said new year weather in the last few years had been warmer than usual.

Festive flower growers and sellers have already seen their produce bloom earlier than usual this year as a result of warmer weather, with last month being the second-hottest December in 132 years.

This month’s daytime temperatures have ranged from 14 to 29 degrees.

The highest New Year’s Day temperature recorded in the 30 years between 1981 and 2010 was 17.8 degrees, and the minimum was 13.9 degrees.