Yesterday's slight rise in temperature brought an end to the third-longest-running cold weather warning in Hong Kong's history. The cold snap, which saw the warning in place for 185 hours and 25 minutes, resulted in more than 14,000 elderly people seeking help. The Observatory issues the cold weather warning when the minimum temperature is expected to be persistently below 12 degrees Celsius. The cold weather warning was officially issued at 4.20pm on January 8 and remained in place until 9.45am yesterday, the third-longest period since the warning was introduced in 1999. The longest occurred last winter, when the warning lasted 594 hours and 30 minutes between January and February. The second-longest warning came in January 2004, and lasted 204 hours and 45 minutes. During the recent cold snap, the lowest recorded temperature was in the northern New Territories village of Ta Kwu Ling, where the mercury fell as low as minus 0.8 degrees and ground frost damaged crops. The Senior Citizens Home Safety Association yesterday said that a total of 14,441 elderly people had requested help during the warning period.