Hong Kong weather

Hong Kong Observatory to consider issuing typhoon warning signal No 3 on Wednesday as tropical depression edges closer

Forecaster apologises for confusion on Tuesday morning after issuing No 1 standby signal for the first typhoon of year two hours earlier than intended

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 11:21am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 10:17pm

The Hong Kong Observatory will consider issuing the typhoon signal No 3 on Wednesday depending on the wind strength, although it said the tropical depression is a relatively weak system.

The weather forecaster stirred confusion on Tuesday morning by issuing the No 1 standby signal for the first typhoon of the year two hours earlier than the intended time.

“There are uncertainties in the direction and speed of movement of the tropical depression,” Sandy Song Man-kuen, senior scientific officer of the Observatory, said on Tuesday.

“When the tropical depression edges closer to the coast of western Guangdong, winds over offshore waters will strengthen,” she said.

Song said the strength of the tropical depression, which was weak, would be further reduced if it made landfall.

Double typhoon still uncertain but squalls and thunderstorms expected

The Observatory would take into account the variation in local wind strength in deciding whether to issue the No 3 signal.

Song advised the public to monitor the latest weather updates before leaving home in the morning.

As of 9pm on Tuesday, the tropical depression, which was over the northern part of the South China Sea, was estimated to be about 410km southwest of Hong Kong. It was forecast to move north at about 12km/h towards the vicinity of Hainan Island and western Guangdong.

The tropical depression’s outer rain bands were expected to bring squally showers to the city in the next couple of days.

Song said another area of low pressure to the east of the Philippines might develop into a tropical depression in the coming week. It had not yet had any effect on Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the Observatory apologised for its confusing information when issuing the standby No 1 signal on Tuesday morning.

The information – intended for 11.20am – appeared in a message updated at 9.25am on the Observatory’s website and mobile app. It appeared again in another release on the Government News and Media Information System at 10.41am.

The agency later apologised and explained the cause of confusion.

“Owning to a typographical error, the message was disseminated earlier than the valid time. We apologise for any possible inconvenience caused,” the weather authority said.

Observatory assistant director Edwin Lai Sau-tak said there were procedures in place to prevent similar mistakes, which he hoped would not happen again.