26th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) and Senior Citizen Home Safety Association (SCHSA) held a joint press conference today to introduce the enhanced Very Hot Weather Warning service and remind the public to prepare for the upcoming summer season.
As the climate continues to warm up, the annual mean temperature in Hong Kong in 2023 is expected to be above normal, with a high chance of reaching the warmest top 10 on record. In 2022, there were 15 days with a daily maximum temperature at the headquarters of the HKO equal to 35.0 degrees Celsius or above, the highest on record. To address this, the HKO has enhanced the Very Hot Weather Warning service by launching a new Special Weather Tips feature and updating the precautions of the warning. When the temperature generally reaches the extreme level (35.0 degrees Celsius or above) and the Very Hot Weather Warning is in force, the HKO will issue a Special Weather Tips alert through the “MyObservatory” mobile application to remind the public to take appropriate precautions against the extreme heat.
The Acting Assistant Director of the HKO, Mr. Cheng Yuen-chung, reminded the public to pay attention to the changing weather and take adequate protective measures against the heat, as there may be extremely hot weather over Southern China early to midweek next week due to the influence of the outer subsiding air of TropicalCyclone Mawar. The HKO has been collaborating with universities and partners to study the impact of very hot weather on public health, and to revise the precautions of the Very Hot Weather Warning to include groups that are more vulnerable to heat stroke and protective measures against extremely hot conditions.
The Department of Health advises that the elderly, pregnant women, infants and children, those with chronic illnesses like heart disease or high blood pressure, and the obese are more vulnerable to heat stroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke should be closely monitored, and adequate rest, hydration, and avoiding overheating of the body is recommended. Seek medical advice promptly if feeling unwell. The Labour Department also reminds those who work in hot weather or high-temperature environments to take necessary precautions against the heat.
The Acting CEO of the SCHSA, Mr. Johnny Yuen, emphasised that the elderly are more vulnerable to heat stroke, especially those living in crowded homes without air conditioning. The CEO of the SCHSA, Ms. Maura Wong, urged the elderly and their relatives to pay attention to the latest weather information from the HKO and use the “Care-On-Call” service platform to check the weather of the day and related health information. By working together, the elderly can stay healthy and safe during the hot summer months.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong is bracing for an extreme heat wave in the coming days, with temperatures expected to rise to 34 degrees Celsius or higher in the city centre and a few degrees higher in the New Territories. According to the Hong Kong Observatory, most parts of the city will experience temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius on 30th and 31st May. The hottest area is expected to be in Sheung Shui, where temperatures may reach up to 38 and 37 degrees Celsius on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The public is advised to take necessary precautions to avoid heatstroke during this period.
The extreme weather is caused by the peripheral subsiding airflows of Super Typhoon Mawar, which is moving towards the seas east of Luzon in the western North Pacific. There is still uncertainty about the typhoon’s subsequent movement, but according to current forecasts, there is a higher chance of it turning northwards in the vicinity of the Luzon Strait and Taiwan. Its outer subsiding air will bring very hot weather to southern China early to midweek next week, triggering showers and thunderstorms in the region. Swells over the coastal waters are also expected.
Before the extreme heat wave hits, Hong Kong will experience mainly cloudy weather with isolated showers tonight and tomorrow. The minimum temperature will be around 27 degrees Celsius on Sunday, and it will be hot with sunny periods during the day with a maximum temperature of about 32degrees Celsius in the urban areas. Moderate east to southeasterly winds are expected.
The Hong Kong Observatory reminds the public to stay hydrated, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during the upcoming heat wave. It is also recommended to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day and take advantage of air-conditioned facilities.