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Hong Kong weather

Hong Kong enjoyed more sunshine than usual in December

According to the Observatory, there were 209.6 hours of bright sunshine last month, 37.4 hours above the 30-year December average of 172.2 hours

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 11:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 11:16am

Hongkongers spent the final month of 2017 basking in more sunshine than the city normally gets at that time of the year.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, there were 209.6 hours of bright sunshine last month, 37.4 hours above the 30-year December average of 172.2 hours.

This meant that apart from three cloudy days before Christmas – on December 13, 17 and 23 – the territory enjoyed at least two hours of daily sunshine throughout the entire month.

With a mean relative humidity of just 66 per cent, last month was also slightly drier than the average December.

Hong Kong records smashed in year of weather extremes

“Under the prevalence of dry continental air brought by the northeast monsoon, the weather in Hong Kong was generally fine for the first 11 days of the month, with conditions becoming cooler and drier from December 8 to 10 as a replenishment of the northeast monsoon reached the south China coastal areas,” the forecaster said in its monthly summary.

The city experienced its first cold snap of the season mid-month as a cold front formed over Guangdong on December 16 and moved across coastal areas overnight. This was followed by an intense winter monsoon, which pushed temperatures down to as low as 9.8 degrees Celsius and relative humidity down to about 40 per cent on December 18.

The monsoon gave way to a moist maritime airstream but by Christmas Eve, a replenishment of dry continental air on cleared away the clouds and the weather remained generally fine well into the new year.

While the Observatory expects this year’s winter season to be warmer than average, the mean temperature last month – 17.8 degrees – was about 0.1 degrees lower than the 30-year December average.

The presence of trace amounts of rain – recorded mostly during the easterly monsoon – will put the month in the record books as one of just 10 Decembers with any precipitation since the Observatory began collecting data in 1884.

Temperatures will start to drop today as a broad band of cloud covers the coast and the northern part of the South China Sea, bringing rain to the region.

The cold will set in further next Monday with “temperatures falling appreciably” to a minimum of 13 degrees as a surging winter monsoon reaches southern China.