Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cold in Hong Kong (Really!)!

Tai Mo Shan as viewed from Tai Lam Country Park
one warm, sunny day last month

Lantau's Ngong Ping Plateau on a sunny,
blue sky day this past summer

Shiver me timbers as well as brrrr! For when I went on the Hong Kong Observatory's website to check the weather and current temperature, I actually saw -- for the very first time in my more than 3 and a half years now in Hong Kong, if I'm not mistaken -- that a frost warning (signalling that frost is expected on high ground or inland in the New Territories*) is in effect!!

More even than the report of students on an Outward Bound course in Sai Kung needing to be airlifted containing the news of the mercury plunging to -2 degrees Celsius at Tai Mo Shan sometime within the past 24 hours or my checking the Weather Underground website and seeing a current temperature of 1.7 degrees Celsius up on the Ngong Ping plateau, this has hammered home to me the fact that sub-tropical Hong Kong is currently experiencing weather that is unusually cold by its standards. Additionally, it has made me think that there really might be some truth, after all, in a colleague's report that the Chinese almanac actually forecast snow for Hong Kong this winter!

To think that last month, it was still lovely beach weather... and, to be sure, I'm pretty confident that there will be warmer -- or, at least, cool rather than really cold -- days again before too long even in during the winter season. (This especially since average December temperatures in the Big Lychee are 15.7-20.3 Celsius.)

But in the meantime, quite a few Hong Kongers probably are actually quite happy that they can feel justified in bundling up in long down coats and the sort of other super warm clothing that many in, say, Wisconsin -- where, as popular saying goes, winter comes with the Halloween ghost and only leaves with the Easter bunny! -- would only think to put on when arctic winds are in full blast and it feels too cold to snow! :D

*Update: For photos of an unexpectedly large amount of frost on Hong Kong's highest peak today, go here. :O


Anonymous said...

Love those pics of frosty Tai Mo Shan!

Maybe you'll have a white Christmas. ;D

sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

Wow, I hope you layered up and are keeping warm.

The frost on Tai Mo Shan is very cool. Looks like a combo of snow and ice.

And please please please keep your camera with you so if it snows you can take photos.

HKP said...

I was beginning to feel a little warmer with my morning cup of coffee--until I clicked on those frosty Tai Mo Shan pics. BRRRRRRR

alejna said...

Do people in Hong Kong really keep long down coats? That amuses me. Though come to think of it, I remember people wearing a lot of sweaters in Hawaii in December, even though it was still warm enough to go to the beach. I don't remember any down coats, though...

I just got my first long down coat, and I've been living through 20+ years of US East Coast winters. I must say, I do like the coat.

I hope you're keeping warm!

YTSL said...

Hi duriandave --

A white Christmas in Hong Kong -- what a scary thought that is! ;D

Hi sbk --

I'm definitely layered, thanks. (If nothing else, living in England taught me to how to do that! :D)

And yes, definitely, plan to keep my camera close by and at the ready! :)

Hi HKP --

Those frosty pics were quite the shocker, huh? Amazingly, it warmed up in the afternoon today (18 degrees Celsius in Wong Tai Sin) but it's now much cooler again. Seems like the temperature's racing up and down in a very unusual as well as dramatic fashion!

Hi Alejna --

Oh yes re some people in Hong Kong keeping and wearing long down coats (and ugg boots, etc.). And yeah, I've never had a a long down coat -- even when living in Wisconsin!!! :D