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Climate and Weather

Hong Kong - Climate and Weather

by Amanda Olsson


With a sub-tropical climate, Hong Kong generally has warm temperatures with high humidity throughout the year, although it can be colder in the winter. Summers can be very hot and humid and reach as high as 35C with the humidity levels being close to 100%. In the spring and autumn, temperatures become a little milder with warm weather and occasional rain showers that bring on cool evenings. During the winter, there might only be a few hours of sunshine during the day. The rest of the day is normally cold and cloudy. Temperatures can drop below 10C throughout January-February and even feel colder, especially since the other months are so warm. Black rainstorms and typhoons can occur between May and October.

Central heating isn’t universally found in Hong Kong and this can make the colder months of winter uncomfortable for some. Although the average temperature in the winter is between 15C and 20C, a northeast winter monsoon can make it even colder and drop temperatures to below 10C, even though Hong Kong is located on the coast and in a tropical environment. On the other hand, a warm maritime airstream might also raise the temperature above 20C. It can be difficult to predict the weather during the winter months. The relative humidity tends to be low but it can also fluctuate since the cool, dry air from Mainland China can alternate with the moist, warm air over the East China Sea. You might see frost at the higher elevations and some light rains that are caused by the depressions.

An increase of rainfall can be seen around April, although springtime in Hong Kong is generally warm and humid. Spring is considered to be the cloudiest time of the year. In fact, on average March and April only get about 100 hours of sunlight. A low pressure begins to establish itself in the spring and there are channels of this over China. This can cause fog over Hong Kong and clouds that will give into light rainfall, gradually getting more abundant by April. The warm, light southerlies give off warm, moist air although there can still occasionally be dry, cool weather.

The summer months in Hong Kong are definitely the hottest and the most humid. The weather can also be fickle. It might be sunny one day with thunderstorms the next. August sees the most rainfall. During the day, the temperatures can go higher than 30C. Due to the high amount of humidity in the air and the lack of breezes, the heat index can be even higher, making it feel hotter than it is. July and August see the most sunshine out of the year, as well as the hottest temperatures. The temperature does not drop by much during the night. Heavy rain and violent thunderstorms are common and the occasional typhoon will pass by, too. The changeable weather is brought by the thunderstorms and the tropical cyclones that are common in the area.

In the autumn months, Hong Kong enjoys relatively pleasant weather. Although the temperatures can still be high, the rainfall and humidity are lower. October and November both see as much as 200 hours of sunshine, making the autumn a sunny time of year, too.

Autumn is generally considered as the most pleasant season. Temperatures are still high (20-27C) while humidity and rainfall are considerably lower. Moreover, autumn is the sunniest season in Hong Kong, with October and November both averaging close to 200 hours of bright sunshine.

The typhoons that can hit Hong Kong are the most serious weather-related problems. The government has issued an alert system to warn residents of the strength of the storms. During the highest threat level, businesses will most likely not be open and the trains and buses will not run in Hong Kong.



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