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Hong Kong weather

It’s official: Hong Kong sweltered through record-breaking summer

Temperature hit high of 36.6 degrees Celsius on August 22; rainfall was 13 per cent more than average for time of year

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, 12:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, 11:07pm

If you felt like it was abnormally hot and wet in Hong Kong last month, you were right: the city sweltered through its hottest day on record and experienced 13 per cent more rain than usual thanks in part to two typhoons, according to the local forecaster.

The Hong Kong Observatory recorded the hottest temperature at its Tsim Sha Tsui headquarters since records began in 1880, with the mercury tipping 36.6 degrees Celsius on August 22.

The mean daily temperature was 29.3 degrees – 0.7 degrees above average – making it the seventh warmest August on record, according to the Observatory.

The two tropical cyclones Hato and Pakhar, which struck towards the end of the month and prompted typhoon warnings, were partly to blame for the atypically hot and wet weather, Observatory scientific officer Chan Yan-chun said.

The hot weather was caused by subsidence – or downward air pressure – just before typhoons Hato and Pakhar hit the city, Chan said.

That meant Hong Kong experienced hot, hazy weather with light winds and plenty of sunshine just before a typhoon hit.

Meanwhile, the city was swamped with 13 per cent more rainfall than in a typical August, experiencing 489.1mm of total rainfall across the month. For the year up to August, the city has experienced 18 per cent more rainfall than usual.

Hato coincided with a high tide, leading to flooding in parts of the city on August 23. In Quarry Bay, the water level rose to 3.57 metres, the second highest since the record-breaking 3.96 metre water levels during Super Typhoon Wanda in 1962.

The rainfall had been caused by the two cyclones, combined with a southwest monsoon that prompted a red rainstorm warning, Chan said.

Well this was more rain than usual, the scientific officer said, 13 per cent more rainfall was not unheard of and was “not a very rare case”.