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Hong Kong weather

Hong Kong heatwave set to roll on although ‘start of autumn’ nears – at least in ancient China’s solar terms

Maximum temperatures will hit the 33 degrees Celsius mark until next Tuesday, Hong Kong Observatory says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018, 7:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018, 10:59pm

The “start of autumn” is almost upon us but that does not mean Hong Kong’s sweltering heat is about to ease too much, weather forecasters say.

Maximum temperatures will hit the 33 degrees Celsius mark for at least another week, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

The “very hot” weather warning has been in force since 6.45am last Friday, and the forecasters predict more of the same over the next few days because of an anticyclone system affecting southeast China.

It was 33 degrees or above in most parts of the city by about noon on Tuesday.

On outlying Waglan Island, the temperature hit 35.8 degrees. In Tai Mei Tuk, it was 35.1 degrees, while the mercury at Chek Lap Kok, where Hong Kong International Airport is located, reached 34.6 degrees. Shek Kong saw 34.5 degrees.

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The hottest urban area was Kowloon City, with the temperature topping 34.3 degrees. On Hong Kong Island, Happy Valley recorded 34.2 degrees.

The current “very hot” warning had been in force for 108 hours straight by 6.45pm on Tuesday – nowhere near the record 320 hours experienced in May.

Observatory scientific officer Law Hiu-fai said the anticyclone would continue to bring very hot weather to southeast China in the next few days.

Temperatures were expected to range between 28 and 33 degrees until next Sunday. The weather would remain mainly fine, with isolated showers.

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However, it would start to turn a little cooler with the maximum temperature expected to fall to 31 degrees next Tuesday – “the start of autumn”, according to the 24 solar terms in a system created by farmers in ancient China to guide their agricultural activities. Showers were also expected.

Law said the start of autumn foretold the end of summer heat, but he was quick to add: “The geography of Hong Kong means autumn does not come so soon here.”

The highest temperature recorded at the Observatory this month was 33.7 degrees. On Tuesday, the maximum there was 33.2 degrees.

As of Monday, the mean temperature for July was 31.7 degrees, slightly higher than the normal mean of 31.4 degrees. The hottest July day was recorded on July 25, 1968, with 35.7 degrees recorded at the Observatory.

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“The recent heatwave has not been particularly strong, particularly when we experienced an exceptionally hot May,” Law said.

May saw a 20-day fine spell, almost entirely without rain. The monthly mean temperature of 28.3 degrees was 2.4 degrees above the normal figure and the highest ever recorded for May.