Temperatures seen plunging to 5 degrees Celsius by Monday

January 22, 2016 14:50
Frost on the weather station on Tai Mo Shan (inset) in 2010, and on plants in Ta Kwu Ling in the same year. Photos: Hong Kong Observatory, weather.org.hk

Grab your warmest woollens and be prepared for a blast of winter chill in the next few days.

Confirming previous forecasts, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a cold weather warning Thursday, predicting that temperatures in the city could sink to 6 degrees Celsius over the weekend.

The latest forecast as of noon Friday is that the mercury in the urban area might sink to as low as 5 degrees Celsius on Monday, RTHK reported.

Temperatures will be a few degrees lower on high ground with a chance of ice or frost.

Ta Kwu Ling could experience temperature as low as 0.2 degree Celsius, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Mok Hing Yim, senior scientific officer of the Observatory, said an intense cold surge is expected to reach the coast of Guangdong on Friday and will bring very cold and windy weather to southern China in the next couple of days.

The minimum temperature on Sunday and Monday will reach around 6 degrees Celsius and 5 degrees Celsius respectively.

Early this week, a civil meteorological website cited data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts as suggesting that temperature at the top of Tai Mo Shan mountain could fall to zero degree Celsius or even below, and that there could even be some snowfall there.

Mok said the chance of snowing this weekend is extremely small, while emphasizing that this kind of cold weather isn't rare in Hong Kong.

The Observatory said it is not rare to see temperature in Hong Kong highland areas to fall to freezing point.

Scientific officer Ho chun-kit said Ta Kwu Ling has seen temperatures of zero degree or lower in 2009, 2010 and 1999.

After a severe cold spell in the next three or four days, temperatures will rise to around 12 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, Mok predicts.

However, he didn't rule out the chance that the temperature will fall again later.

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A rare sight of rime as pictured in Tai Mo Shan in 2010. Photo: Hong Kong Observatory