“Normal” winter is expected in 2016, Hong Kong Observatory says

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If you happened to find a discrepancy between the actual weather and our Hong Kong Weather info page, it’s not our fault😞…Hong Kong has broken a dozen weather records this year, ranging from the highest consecutive number of hot days to the most rainfall recorded in autumn…

The average maximum temperature recorded in Hong Kong this year up to October was 26.7 degrees Celsius, 0.4 degrees higher than the 30-year average measured from 1981 to 2010.

Mean temperatures over July and October – 29.8 and 26.8 degrees – were the highest measured since the government forecaster began keeping records in 1884, while June broke the record for average maximum temperature at 32.4 degrees.

The number of “very hot” days – when maximum temperatures surpass 33 degrees – hit 38 this year, compared to last year’s 28. Four days in a row of scorching weather in late June also set a rare record in 2016 for most consecutive days of temperatures above 35 degrees.

September to November also saw 1,078.8mm of rain, breaking the record for the highest amount of rainfall recorded in autumn.

Observatory director Shun Chi-ming said scientific studies indicated that a weak La Nina weather pattern was about to develop, possibly lowering air temperatures over winter.

But other impacts such as global warming and urbanisation were likely to offset the effect, meaning this winter will see “normal” levels, with temperatures hovering around 16 to 17 degrees – the winter average recorded over the last 30 years.

An El Nino effect occurs when warm water accumulated in the western Pacific shifts east with the weakening or reversal of westerly winds, causing the eastern Pacific to warm up. A La Nina effect brings the opposite.

Climate change, Shun stressed, would continue to be a major concern as a target struck by countries in Paris last year to limit the increase of average temperatures “well below” 2 degrees was most likely to be missed.

City University chair professor of atmospheric science Johnny Chan Chung-leung said Hong Kong should brace for more frequent extreme weather events and big temperature fluctuations.

“In the past, Hong Kong gets progressively colder starting November and this is maintained till about March. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see more cold-warm intervals,” Chan said.

The Observatory also announced it would create a new Facebook page at the end of next year, to improve communication with the public and increase transparency.

Source: SCMP Hong Kong

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