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Hong Kong weather

Hong Kong records smashed in year of weather extremes

City slept through 41 hot nights where temperatures went above 28 degrees Celsius, while typhoon season saw nine tropical cyclones sweep by

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 December, 2017, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 December, 2017, 1:36pm

With 2017 closing as one of the top three hottest years on record according to the World Meteorological Organisation, we look back on how Hong Kong weathered a year of torrid heat, pounding typhoons and lashing thunderstorms.

Sweltering temperatures

– Eight Hong Kong temperature records were broken in 2017

– On August 22, the city sweltered under a scorching 36.6 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature ever recorded since the Observatory began compiling data in 1884. It beat the previous record on August 8, 2015, when the mercury hit 36.3 degrees

– At least 41 hot nights – when temperatures surpass 28 degrees – were tallied this year, the highest ever

– The Observatory said 2017 was one of Hong Kong’s warmest years on record. The hottest year for the city was 2015, with an annual mean temperature of 24.2 degrees

Debris remains on city’s beaches three months after Typhoon Hato

Super typhoons

– Nine tropical cyclones, more than the average number expected annually, came within 500km of Hong Kong in 2017

– The typhoon signal was issued for seven of these storms, with five of them reaching a No 8 warning and above

– On August 23, Typhoon Hato, the strongest of the year, battered the city, killing 10 people in the neighbouring casino hub of Macau and injuring more than 129 in Hong Kong

– Hato prompted the highest warning signal – No 10 – making it the 15th time the signal was raised since 1946

– Hato came close to Hong Kong at a time when the tide was highest, bringing water levels to 3.57 metres, the second highest since records began in 1954. The highest was in 1962, when a level of 3.96 metres was recorded with Typhoon Wanda, which left 130 people dead in Hong Kong and 72,000 people homeless

Fire danger despite temperature falling to coldest this winter

Balmy winter

– Last winter, there were only seven very cold days – when daily temperatures dip below 12 degrees – far below the 30-year annual average of about 17 cold days during the winter season

– The lowest temperature was 10.6 degrees

– January temperatures broke an all-time high for monthly mean and highest monthly minimum readings at 18.5 and 17 degrees respectively

– The average winter temperature from December to February hovered at 18.4 degrees, 1.4 degrees higher than the 30-year normal reading ­between 1981 and 2010. It also tied the winter of 1998/ 1999 as the city’s warmest on record

Deadly storms such as Typhoon Hato are a warning to Hong Kong to prepare for the worst

Stormy summer

– There were 15 days with thunderstorms in July, making it the highest number since 1947

– As of mid-December, there were 48 days this year with thunderstorms, making it unlikely to break the record of 59 days in 2014

– This year’s thunderstorm count was higher than the 30-year annual average of 38, between 1981 and 2010

– June was the wettest month this year, with about 656mm of rain recorded

– June’s total rainfall was the 14th highest since 1884, but that was still only around half of the amount recorded for the same month in 2008, when 1,346.1mm of rain poured down on the city