HK experiences ‘exceptionally warm’ April

The temperature in Hong Kong hit 31.5C on the hottest day in April. (South China Morning Post photo)

Temperatures in April were among the warmest on record in Hong Kong for the month, according to forecasters.

In yet another “exceptionally warm” month, the mean maximum temperature hit 27.2C, 2.2 degrees above the normal figure and the fifth highest on record for April, the Hong Kong Observatory said on Friday.

Hongkongers sweltered as the mercury rose to the highest for the month last Friday, with temperatures hitting a sizzling 31.5C at the Observatory. The previous day, the daily mean temperature was 28.5C, the joint highest on record for April.

The Observatory attributed the warm and unsettled weather in April to the warmer than normal sea surface temperature and the stronger than usual southerly flow in the lower atmosphere over the northern part of the South China Sea.

Even for cooler days, temperatures were higher than normal.

The mean minimum temperature and mean temperature for the month were 22.9C and 24.7C respectively, both 2.1 degrees above their corresponding normal figures, marking the joint highest and second highest records for April, the forecaster said.

The lowest temperature of the month recorded at the Observatory was 18.1C on April 2, with the weather influenced by a fresh to strong northeast monsoon.

Residents and visitors alike were also made to put their wet weather gear to good use as the accumulated rainfall recorded in the first four months this year soared to 445.7 millimetres, marking a 33% jump above the normal figure of 336.1mm for the same period.

For April, the monthly rainfall was 185.8mm, about 6% above the normal figure of 174.7mm.

The first red rainstorm warning of the year was also issued on April 20 as intense thunderstorms packed with lightning, heavy rain and severe squalls swept across Hong Kong.

A total of 9,094 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were detected that day, the highest on record for April since the launch of the lightning location system in 2005, the Observatory said.

There was no tropical cyclone over the South China Sea and the western North Pacific in April.

March also saw exceptionally wet and warm weather with mean temperatures for the first three months of the year reaching an all-time high.

The mean temperature was 21C, 1.9 degrees higher than the climatological normal between 1981 to 2010. The mean temperature (19.7C), mean maximum temperature (22.1C) and mean minimum temperature (18.1C) were the city’s hottest for the three-month period since record keeping began in 1884 and 1885.

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