Hong Kong is in for another year of hot weather, says the Observatory

As the warm weather returns this week after a mild winter, experts predict that Hong Kong will have fewer “cold days” in the future

Joanne Ma |

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“Cold days” may become a rarity in Hong Kong, as the Observatory predicts this year could be one of the hottest on record.

Warm, sunny weather is on the way next week, according to Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), which also predicts that this year may be one of the hottest on record in Hong Kong.

Although the north-east monsoon brought slightly cooler weather to the south of the mainland at the weekend, it will be replaced by a humid maritime airstream, HKO said. The temperature is predicted to rise throughout the week and reach high of 26 degrees Celsius on Thursday and Friday.

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In a press conference on Thursday, HKO also revealed that last winter there were only three days when temperatures dropped to 12 degrees Celsius or under – a record low.

In addition, 11 high-temperature records were broken last year, including the highest average mark for the month of May at 28.3 degrees. That same month, the earliest ever hot weather warning in a year was issued. Shun Chi-ming, director of the Observatory, said it was possible that Hong Kong would soon experience winters with no “cold days” – defined as 12 degrees or lower.

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“As [global] warming persists and urbanisation continues, this will be around the corner,” he said, adding it was hard to say when this would happen, but that it could be by the end of this century.

Shun said there was a 90 per cent chance that the average temperature this year would be among the top 10 highest in Hong Kong’s history, with an 80 per cent probability that it would enter the top five. The Observatory also said it expected four to seven typhoons to come within 500 kilometres of the city this year, which is considered normal. Under the effects of El Niño, the storms could arrive in or after June.

El Niño is a climate pattern during which the surface temperatures of the tropical Pacific Ocean increase. This affects how the air in our atmosphere moves and, in turn, affects regional climates worldwide.

Edted by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge