Typhoon signal No 3 issued as tropical storm Khanun edges closer to Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airlines cancels four flights between city and Hainan Island as weather expected to worsen
Hong Kong was expected to see strong winds and rain on Sunday with the approach of severe tropical storm Khanun, prompting authorities to issue the typhoon warning signal No 3 on Saturday night.
The Observatory issued the strong wind signal at 7.10pm, 8½ hours after the standby signal No 1 came into effect.
Khanun was forecast to move northwest across the South China Sea and intensify, heading in the direction of the Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan Island.
On Saturday winds were occasionally strong off shore and on high ground in Hong Kong. They would continue to strengthen as Khanun moved closer to the coastal area of southern China, the Observatory said. The storm’s influence would combine with the effect of a northeast monsoon affecting the city.
“We will be under the influence of Khanun’s outer rainbands [on Sunday]. The local weather is expected to deteriorate significantly with occasional heavy squally showers,” Observatory senior scientific officer Lee Shuk-ming said.
It was expected that strong winds from the east and northeast would hit on Sunday, at strengths that could reach gale force off shore and on high ground. The temperature was expected to hover at between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius. Seas will be rough with swells.
Saturday night’s edition of Hong Kong’s iconic light and sound show A Symphony of Lights was cancelled due to the approach of the storm.
Hong Kong Airlines cancelled four flights between Hong Kong and Haikou that had been scheduled for Sunday, and postponed two Monday flights on the same route to Tuesday.
Organisers of the Central Rat Race, originally scheduled for Sunday, cancelled the event due to the typhoon warning. The race will not be rescheduled.
The weather will improve by the middle of the week with the gradual departure of Khanun. The Observatory forecast there would be sunny periods on Wednesday and Thursday. The weather next weekend was forecast to be fine and dry.
The last No 3 typhoon signal issued was for severe tropical storm Mawar early last month.
Khanun, a Thai name for jackfruit, is the seventh tropical cyclone to affect Hong Kong this year after an active storm season, according to the Observatory.
As the typhoon drew closer to the southern coast of China on Saturday morning, trains and ferries running between Hainan Island and southern Guangdong province were suspended, according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.
Authorities in the southeastern province of Fujian activated emergency response measures requiring all vessels in regional waters to be moored.