Hong Kong Observatory issues second frost warning as cold snap continues
Officials on Sunday predicted icy conditions in the northern New Territories overnight, after issuing a frost warning for the first time in two years on Saturday
As the city continued to be gripped by a week-long cold spell, a second frost warning was issued on Sunday afternoon by the Hong Kong Observatory, which said ground frost was likely to occur early on Monday morning in the northern part of the New Territories.
The warning came at 4.30pm and was a specific reminder to local farmers. The Observatory issued its first frost warning in two years on Saturday evening and this lasted for about 12 hours.
The observatory’s scientific officer Law Siu-fai said the minimum temperature in urban areas on Sunday night and Monday morning would be about 8 degrees Celsius (46.7 Fahrenheit), and two to three degrees lower in the New Territories.
There would be moderate northerly winds, with relative humidity ranging from 40 to 60 per cent, and these factors may result in the formation of frost.
After the first frost warning was issued at 7.30pm on Saturday, “frost-chasers” – enthusiasts hunting for snowlike conditions – headed to the city’s highest peak, Tai Mo Shan. However, they were all let down as there was no frost, despite the mercury dipping to about 1.4 degrees.
One “frost-chaser” said he was not expecting much as the humidity was not that high and it was windy, which would reduce the chances of frost forming. Others at the site also expressed their disappointment. Among them was a six-year-old girl celebrating her mother’s birthday with her family.
At Ta Kwu Ling, close to the city’s border with the mainland, the lowest temperature was 6 degrees on Sunday morning, but there was no frost.
Meanwhile, the weatherman said the winter monsoon would continue to bring cold and dry weather to southern China.
The weather on Monday will be cold, dry and mainly cloudy with some pockets of sun. It will hit a maximum of 13 degrees Celsius during the day.
The temperature is expected to climb gradually as the week progresses, to a maximum of 16 degrees Celsius in urban areas on Wednesday, and 18 degrees Celsius on Saturday.
The persistent chill has led to more people catching the flu, leaving hospitals struggling to cope.
On Saturday, accident and emergency units in 17 public hospitals saw 5,225 new patients, with 964 people transferred to medical wards, pushing the average inpatient bed occupancy rate to 104 per cent.
United Christian and Queen Elizabeth hospitals in Kwun Tong and Ho Man Tin respectively were the busiest.