Hong Kong weather expert calls coldest day in May for more than 100 years 'good sign'

Hong Kong weather expert calls coldest day in May for more than 100 years 'good sign'

Hong Kong recorded its coldest day in May for more than a century on Monday morning. (South China Morning Post photo)
Hong Kong recorded its coldest day in May for more than a century on Monday morning. (South China Morning Post photo)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong recorded its coldest day in May for more than a century on Monday morning, according to the city's weather forecaster, with a veteran meteorologist saying it was a "good sign" amid climate change fears.

The Observatory reported a minimum temperature of 16.4°C in Tsim Sha Tsui, the lowest figure for May since 1917, breaking the previous record from 2013 of 16.6°C.

The city's cool weather was the result of a northeast monsoon and showers, which were caused by an upper-air disturbance, the forecaster said. The monsoon has also affected the rest of Guangdong's shoreline.

On Friday, the Observatory issued its earliest "very hot weather" warning since the system was introduced in 2000. The signal was issued for the first time in April when the Hong Kong Wetland Park, located in the city's northwest, recorded temperatures of 35.9°C in the afternoon of the same day.

But a leading meteorologist said there was no conclusive evidence to indicate the recent weather fluctuations were the result of climate change.

Leung Wing-mo, a former assistant director at the Observatory, explained that Hong Kong was experiencing a transition from winter to summer, leading to different seasonal monsoons affecting the current temperature.

"This time, the winter monsoon is stronger than the summer monsoon, along with the rain, so the weather is cooler," he said. Leung added that seawater temperatures were lower than normal and had produced a "cold snap".

He said such a low temperature in May was "rare", as it was about seven degrees lower than the average minimum temperature of 23.3°C, based on data recorded during the first five days of May over a period of 1991 to 2020.

"Under global warming, cool weather in May will be rarer, while hot weather will be more common, which we are worried about," he said. "So cold weather in May is in fact a good sign."

Last year, the city's weather forecaster reported a temperature of 36.1°C during the hottest recorded day in May, breaking the previous record of 35.5°C from 1963.

Hong Kong recorded its warmest year on record in 2021, logging 54 very hot days and 61 hot nights, with daily minimum temperatures reaching 28 degrees or above.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (7)