Hongkongers basked in the sun on the city’s warmest day this year as they celebrated Buddha’s Birthday – a public holiday in the city – with temperatures soaring past 30 degrees Celsius in parts of Kowloon and the New Territories. The Hong Kong Observatory said the maximum temperature recorded on Wednesday was 31.3 degrees in the afternoon, the highest so far this year. The weather forecaster attributed it to the influence of a southerly airstream over the coast of Guangdong, which brought hot weather to the region. In King’s Park in Ho Man Tin, Sham Shui Po and Ta Kwu Ling, temperatures reached 31 degrees at 1pm. The thermometer also hit 30 degrees in places including Happy Valley, Sha Tin, Lau Fau Shan, Shek Kong and Wong Tai Sin. But the weather will turn cloudy, with occasional showers moving in on Thursday. The Observatory also expects the weekend to be wet and stormy due to a trough of low pressure over central China bringing showers, thunderstorms and southernly winds to the region. Temperatures will drop to between 24 and 30 degrees on Thursday with a high intensity of UV radiation. Occasional sunshine is expected early next week. The city’s weather forecaster earlier said that this year will likely see normal annual rainfall, with four to seven tropical cyclones expected to come within 500 kilometres of Hong Kong, figures which are close to normal. Regarding the weather outlook this year, the Observatory said earlier normal annual rainfall, and four to seven tropical cyclones coming within 500 kilometres of Hong Kong were expected, which is near normal. “Members of the public are reminded to be prepared for the coming rain and typhoon season in a timely manner,” it said. It added that there was a 70 per cent chance that 2017 would be one of the city’s top 10 warmest year on record.