The Hong Kong Observatory hoisted a no. 8 tropical cyclone warning on Friday evening as grey skies rained down on the city on the 25th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule.
At 8pm, severe tropical storm Chaba was centered about 370 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong and is forecast to move northwest at about 16 km/h in the general direction of the coast of western Guangdong.
The forecaster issued the no. 8 southeast gale or storm signal at 7:10pm.
This means that winds with mean speeds of 63 km/h or more are expected from the southeast quarter.
According to the present forecast track, Chaba will be closest to Hong Kong tonight and tomorrow morning, skirting about 300 kilometers to the southwest of the territory, the observatory said on its website at 7:45pm.
“Gale force winds are affecting many places of Hong Kong while winds on high ground even reach storm force occasionally. Local winds will turn gradually from the east to the southeast. Some places may become more exposed,” it said.
“The no. 8 gale or storm signal will remain in force before 5am tomorrow. Members of the public are advised to take note of the latest weather information before leaving home tomorrow morning.”
The rainbands associated with Chaba will bring occasional heavy showers and violent gusts to Hong Kong, the forecaster said.
It added that seas are very rough with swells, and members of the public are advised to stay away from the shoreline, and not to engage in water sports.
Strong winds can be felt across Hong Kong, including in Tai Koo.
The observatory forecast strong to gale force east to southeasterly winds, occasionally storm force on high ground for tonight and tomorrow, with winds moderating gradually later tomorrow.
The weather will be cloudy with occasional squally showers and thunderstorms, and showers will be heavy at times, it added.
It also said seas will be very rough with swells, while temperatures will range between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius.