Intensifying weather may lead to Red Rainstorm Warning Signal later

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21st May 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Observatory is closely monitoring a cluster of intense thundery showers, currently moving slowly from Lantau Island towards New Territories West, which may necessitate the issuance of a Red Rainstorm Warning Signal. Over the past hour, these showers have intensified, particularly over the western parts of the territory, with Lantau Island experiencing more than 40 millimetres of rainfall.

As of 10am, the Observatory has issued an Amber Rainstorm Warning Signal across Hong Kong, indicating that heavy rain, exceeding 30 millimetres per hour, has been recorded and is expected to persist. This level of precipitation raises concerns about potential flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas.

The situation is particularly severe in the Islands District, where the rainfall has surpassed 70 millimetres per hour. The Observatory issued a Localised Heavy Rain Advisory at 11am, urging residents in affected areas to take immediate precautions to mitigate the risk of flood damage. The advisory highlights the likelihood of flash floods and advises the public to steer clear of watercourses. Motorists are also warned of possible serious road flooding and traffic congestion, which could exacerbate the situation.

The Hong Kong Observatory is now deliberating whether the escalating conditions warrant a Red Rainstorm Warning. This decision will depend on the continued development and movement of the thundery showers. A Red Warning would indicate a very high risk, with rainfall expected to exceed 50 millimetres per hour, significantly impacting day-to-day activities and posing serious threats to regions prone to rapid flooding.