Hong Kong temperatures hit record new high on Sunday

  • The Observatory reported a temperature of 36.1 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest day in May ever recorded
  • Make sure to wear light, loose-fitting clothes, avoid spending too much time outside, and drink plenty of water during very hot weather

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Did Sunday feel even hotter than normal to you? Turns out, it was. Photo: SCMP / Sam Tsang

A hiker died as the heatwave hitting Hong Kong reached new heights on Sunday afternoon, when temperatures rose above 36 degrees Celsius, setting a new record as the hottest day in May ever recorded.

The Observatory reported a temperature of 36.1 degrees at about 2pm at its Tsim Sha Tsui headquarters, the highest May temperature since records began in 1884, dwarfing the previous high of 35.5 degrees in 1963.

The reading also marked the third-highest daily maximum for any month on record – after 36.6 degrees recorded in 2017 and 36.3 degrees in 2015 – matching a high of 36.1 degrees recorded in 1900 and 1990.

Cold treats to help beat the heat

The temperature soared higher still in Tai Mei Tuk in Tai Po, which hit 37.1 degrees at about 1pm.

Under the sweltering heat, a 61-year-old man collapsed during a hike from Tai Po to Hok Tau in Fanling, and later died in hospital.

Forecasters said the very hot weather would persist over the coast of Guangdong province for the next few days under the influence of an anticyclone, with less cloud coverage and higher winds helping drive up temperatures.

How to cool off in Hong Kong

Officials reminded the public that to prevent heatstroke, they should avoid prolonged activities outdoors if possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes and stay in shaded areas as much as possible otherwise.

Residents should also drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine.

The Observatory also said there would be some relief over the next couple of days, with a trough of low pressure edging closer to the city later on Monday, bringing a few showers.

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