Hong Kong bakes in one of hottest May days on record with temperature hitting 36.7 degrees Celsius
Observatory records third-highest temperature in month of May since 1885, as hot weather warning remains in force for fifth day
Hong Kong sweltered in one of the hottest days in May since records began more than 130 years ago, the temperature rising to 36.7 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas on Wednesday.
At the Hong Kong Observatory in Tsim Sha Tsui, the temperature reached 35.1 degrees, the highest this year and the third-hottest day recorded there in the month of May since 1885.
The outlying island of Peng Chau, west of Hong Kong Island, saw a high of 36.7 degrees while in Sheung Shui, in the northern New Territories, the temperature hit 36.6 degrees in the afternoon. In Ta Kwu Ling, in the northeastern New Territories near the border with mainland China, 36.3 degrees was recorded, the same as for Hong Kong Island’s Happy Valley district.
The very hot weather warning has been in force for more than five days after first being issued at 6.45am last Friday. The warning indicates there is a high risk of heatstroke and people are also advised to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
“An anticyclone aloft is bringing fine and very hot weather to the south China coast and the northern part of the South China Sea. The sky is clear and there are no clouds and we have a lot of sunshine,” Observatory scientific officer Lee Yiu-fai said, explaining the hot weather of recent days.
“It was very hot in the afternoon. The maximum temperature recorded at the Observatory was 35.1 degrees, the highest so far this year.”
The average temperature for the month was 27.4 degrees up to Tuesday, with rainfall totalling 53.2mm.
Hong Kong last experienced an exceptionally warm May in 1963, when there were 13 “very hot days”, with daily maximum temperatures passing 33 degrees.
The weather is forecast to remain fine and very hot on Thursday, with temperatures ranging from 28 degrees to 33 degrees in the urban areas, and a couple of degrees higher in the countryside.
There will be light to moderate south to southeasterly winds, according to the Observatory.
The hot spell is expected to last until Sunday, with temperatures easing a bit from next Monday with rain forecast. Maximum temperatures are expected to fall from 33 degrees on Monday to 31 degrees on Friday next week.
The hottest day recorded in May was May 31, 1963, when the thermometer hit 35.5 degrees, followed by May 26, 1976, when it reached 35.2 degrees. On May 30, 1963, the maximum temperature at the Observatory also hit 35.1 degrees Celsius.