Cold weather back with bang

Local | Sophie Hui 8 Dec 2017

It's time to cover up as this winter will be colder than the previous year, according to weather forecasters.

The Hong Kong Observatory's announcement comes in the midst of a cold snap that will see the temperature tomorrow dip to 14 degrees Celsius.

The observatory said the cooler weather is the result of rising pressure over the northern part of southern China. Furthermore, the return of the northeast monsoon will reach coastal areas tomorrow morning.

Today it will be mainly fine and dry, with a minimum temperature of around 16 degrees in the urban areas, and few degrees lower in the New Territories. The maximum temperature will be about 20 degrees.

However, temperatures will drop further to 14 degrees or lowertomorrowmorning. The fine, dry and chilly weather will remain in effect for the next couple of days.

Separately, the observatory said last winter was the warmest on record, with a mean temperature of 18.4 degrees.

Observatory director Shun Chi-ming said Hong Kong is expected to experience more days with temperatures dropping below 12 degrees this winter.

Winter temperatures in Hong Kong tend to be generally lower under the effect of La Nina phenomenon.

However, Shun said due the influence of global warming, the overall temperature this winter will be normal to above average.

The observatory also said the highest temperature this year was 36.6 degrees onAugust 22, breaking a record that dated back to 1884. As for the hottest night, it was a record-breaking 41 degrees.

Shun also told of his worries when Severe Typhoon Hato hit in August and the water level at Quarry Bay reached a maximum of 3.57 meters above chart datum - slightly below the record of Super Typhoon Wanda in 1962.

He said Hong Kong was lucky to escape the amount of damage that was caused by Wanda, which killed more than 100 people, and left tens of thousands homeless.

"If Hato was closer to Hong Kong by just 20-30 kilometers, it would have caused more serious flooding than the time Wanda hit Hong Kong," Shun said. "I was sweating at the time, and getting ready to announce that Hato would be of the same level as Wanda."

Shun also realized that Hong Kong's safety awareness improved after Hato.

"In the past, many people called and asked about what time they will be off work, but after Hato, we saw more people ask about the precautions for typhoons. Their awareness is stronger."

Observatory assistant director Cheng Cho-ming also announced that a new 14-day weather forecast will be appearing on the mobile app. The department is also planning to add the rainfall and lightning nowcast on the mobile app next year.

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