Observatory issues standby typhoon warning as storm heads towards Hainan Island

Via the Hong Kong Observatory

After a record-breaking hot spell in May, Hong Kong’s set for thunderstorms, with the city’s observatory this morning issuing its first tropical cyclone standby warning of the year, amid a minor kerfuffle over timing.

As of 2pm, the tropical depression hovering over the northern South China Sea near Hainan Island was about 500km from Hong Kong, and had strengthened slightly while moving north towards the coast of Guangdong province, according to the Observatory.

The weather service — which this morning issued a No1 signal — wrote that, barring a change in the storm’s track, it was unlikely to raise the warning level.

The first No1 signal issued for the year, the warning sparked some minor confusion when, sent out at 9:25am, it said “Standby Signal No 1 had been issued at 11:20am”.

The service later apologized for the mistake, which they blamed on “typographical error”, reported RTHK.

The storm’s outer rain bands are expected to bring squally showers to the territory in the next couple of days.

A thunderstorm warning is also in place, with maximum temperatures expected to hover between 29 and 31 degrees for the coming days.

The rain plus a dip in the heat will come as a welcome relief to many following what the Observatory described as an “exceptionally hot” May.

In its summary of last month’s weather, the weather service wrote that an upper-air anticyclone over the northern part of the South China Sea had fed a 20-day hot streak that lasted until the end of the month.

The monthly mean temperature of 28.3 degrees Celsius and monthly mean minimum temperature of 26.1 degrees Celsius were 2.4 degrees and 2.0 degrees above their respective normals, and were the highest ever on record for May, the Observatory wrote.

“There were in total 16 very hot days, including a heat wave of 15 consecutive very hot days that started from 17 May, and 6 hot nights in the month, all breaking the records for May,” it added.

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