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The Four Seasons in Hong Kong
In the winter, the weather is generally cool by local standards, with temperatures hovering between 15°C and 20°C. However, northeast winter monsoons bring frequent cold fronts which can cause the temperature to dip below 10°C, despite Hong Kong's tropical latitude and coastal location. Conversely, warm maritime airstreams also commonly raise the temperature well above 20°C. Temperatures as high as 29°C have been recorded in February. Winter starts sunny in December and becomes cloudier towards February.
Spring brings warmer and more humid weather. There is a sharp increase in rainfall around April. Spring is the cloudiest time of the year, with March and April both averaging only around 100 hours of bright sunshine.
Summer weather is hot, humid and unstable. Thunderstorms and brief showers are common, as well as sunny conditions. August has the highest average rainfall of any month. Temperatures usually exceed 30°C during the day, which, coupled with a high humidity, can result in an extreme heat index. Extreme heat indices are also caused by continuous sunshine and low breeze, usually last long around July and August, is a result in subtropical high pressure areas. This also occurs before typhoons hitting Hong Kong or nearby regions in the northeast, e.g. Taiwan or Eastern Coast of China, such outbound airstream bring even hotter weather, in addition to dirtier air. Nights are also warm with an average minimum temperature of 26°C. Hong Kong is frequently hit by typhoons in summer.
Autumn is generally considered as the most pleasant season. Temperatures are still high (20-27°C) 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.
Hong Kong Climate chart (explanation) J F M A M J J A S O N D2519145219147122171892521330282438830263743127445312628830261522823352419352016 Average max. and min. temperatures in °C Precipitation totals in mm Source: HKO Imperial conversion J F M A M J J A S O N D165572.165582.871627.47769138375158779158880188880118678682741.475671.46960 Average max. and min. temperatures in °F Precipitation totals in inches Winter Spring Summer Autumn Temperature Mild
(10 °C / 50 °F-23 °C / 73 °F)
(17 °C / 62.6 °F-30 °C / 86.0 °F)
Generally hot days
(30 °C / 86 °F-35 °C / 95 °F) and warm nights (25 °C / 77 °F-30 °C / 86 °F)
(17 °C / 63 °F-30 °C / 86 °F)
- High pressure over central Asia grows stronger and forms anticyclone
- Cold front establishes
- Anticyclone over central Asia weakens
- Low pressure begins to establish
- Troughs of low pressure develop over China
- Low pressure well formed over central Asia
- Troughs of low pressure and typhoons affect Hong Kong
- Low pressure over central Asia weakens
- Ridges of high pressure start to develop over central Asia
Relative Humidity Relative humidity is fairly low but it fluctuates as dry, cool air from Mainland China alternates with warm, moist air from East China Sea over Hong Kong Relative humidity begins to rise. Relative humidity is very high and could reach over 80%. Relative humidity starts to fall. Precipitation and Condensation
- Occasional light rains (caused by depressions passing over Mainland China).
- Frost may appear at the higher elevations.
- Troughs of low pressure cause mists and advection fog over Hong Kong.
- Clouds sometimes develop and give light rainfall.
- Heavy convection rain
- Violent thunderstorms fairly common.
- Typhoons sometimes pass through or nearby
- Clouds and rainfall decrease.
- Cloudless sky becomes more common.
Wind Dry, cool, and strong north-easterlies blow from Mainland China Warm, light southerlies occasionally alternate with cold, dry north-easterlines Warm, moist southerlies blow from the sea Winds become cooler, dries, and easterly Summary Weather condition generally stable, but anticyclones and cold fronts bring changeable weather at times.
- Conditions are warm and moist when the winds are southerly.
- Occasionally bursts of cold winds bring dry, cool weather.
- Generally, conditions become more unstable.
- Changeable weather brought by tropical cyclones and thunderstorms.
- Weather conditions are generally unstable.
Conditions become more stable and pleasant.
Climate data for Hong Kong Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °C (°F) 18.6
25.6 Daily mean °C (°F) 16.1
23.1 Average low °C (°F) 14.1
21.1 Rainfall mm (inches) 24.9
% humidity 73 78 82 83 84 82 81 82 79 74 70 69 78.1 Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 5.60 9.47 10.47 11.67 15.47 18.77 17.77 17.43 14.80 8.10 5.67 4.27 139.49 Sunshine hours 141.7 93.8 89.6 101.8 138.6 158.3 214.9 189.7 171.8 191.1 178.2 173.3 1,842.9 Source: Hong Kong Observatory 
Climate of the past decade
1997. The year 1997 was the wettest year since records began in 1884. Rainfall at the Hong Kong Observatory amounted to 3,343.0 millimetres (131.61 in), 51 per cent above normal and exceeding the previous record set in 1982.
1998. It was the warmest year since records began in 1884. The annual mean temperature was 24.0 °C (75.2 °F), 0.2 °C (0.4 °F) higher than the previous record set in 1966. The annual mean daily minimum temperature of 22.1 °C (71.8 °F) was also the highest on record.
1999. With an annual mean temperature of 23.8 °C (74.8 °F), 1999 was the third warmest year on record. The monthly mean temperatures for all months except May, August and December were above their respective normal figures.
2000. The year 2000 was warmer and wetter than usual. The mean temperature of 23.3 °C (73.9 °F) was the tenth highest on record and the mean minimum temperature of 21.5 °C (70.7 °F) was the sixth highest. The annual total rainfall of 2,752.3 millimetres (108.36 in) was 24 per cent above normal.
2001. The year 2001 was warmer and wetter than usual. The mean temperature of 23.6 °C (74.5 °F) was 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) above normal, ranking the sixth highest on record. The mean minimum temperature of 21.8 °C (71.2 °F) was the second highest on record. The annual total rainfall of 3,091.8 millimetres (121.72 in) also ranked the fourth highest.
2002. The year 2002 was the second warmest year on record. The mean temperature of 23.9 °C (75.0 °F) was 0.9 °C (1.6 °F) above normal.
2003. The year 2003 was the sixth warmest year since records began in 1884. The mean temperature, 23.6 °C (74.5 °F), was 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) above normal.
2004. Globally, the year 2004 was the fourth warmest year since instrumental temperature record began in 1861. In Hong Kong, 2004 was the ninth warmest year on record. The annual mean temperature was 23.4 °C (74.1 °F), 0.4 °C (0.7 °F) above normal.
2005. Locally in Hong Kong, 2005 was the third wettest year on record. The total rainfall of 3,214.5 millimetres (126.56 in) was 45.2 percent above normal.
2006. Globally, the year 2006 is the sixth warmest year on record. In Hong Kong, it was the eighth warmest year since record began in 1884. The annual mean temperature of 23.5 °C (74.3 °F) was 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) higher than normal.
2008. Hong Kong was lashed by a torrential storm on the morning of June 7 which dumped up to 300 mm (11.8 in) of rain including 145.5 mm (5.73 in) between 8am and 9am killing 2 people. The storm also caused traffic delays and dozens of flight delays.
- ^ "Monthly Meteorological Normals for Hong Kong". Hong Kong Observatory. http://www.weather.gov.hk/cis/normal/1971_2000/normals_e.htm. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
- Hong Kong Observatory web site
- Hong Kong Underground Observatory web site
- The Climate Information site from HKO
- Explanation of Hong Kong's Typhoon Signal System
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