After a warm and balmy weekend, another bout of chilly weather is expected to hit the city later this week as a cold front crosses over southern China.
Minimum temperatures are forecast to drop to 17 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and down again to 15 degrees on Thursday and Friday as a northeast monsoon brings some cooler weather to the region, the Hong Kong Observatory said. Maximum temperatures are set to plunge significantly from 28 degrees today to 18 on Thursday – so remember to wrap up warmer than you have been.
Such rise and falls have become the norm over the last month with minimum temperatures two weeks ago dropping to the low teens before gradually warming to the mid to high twenties last week.
The cold front earlier this month was also caused by a northeast monsoon – a cold air and high pressure area which resides over continental Asia in the latter part of the year.
“This is quite a common phenomenon around this time as the cold front pushes down from the north,” scientific officer Chan Yan-chun said.
The drop in temperature this week will be accompanied by mostly overcast and rainy weather, especially for tomorrow and Wednesday.
Thoracic Society president and respiratory medicine specialist Dr Loletta So Kit-ying also warned of an uptick in seasonal flu cases, which often follow big temperature swings.
“People often are not ready for [such swings] and flu cases generally go up,” she said. “Children, the elderly and the chronically ill are particularly vulnerable, while asthmatics will also be at risk.”
The average consultation rate for flu-like illnesses at general outpatient clinics was 4.8 cases per 1,000 consultations, lower than the week before but higher than around the same period last year, according to the Centre for Health Protection’s latest statistics. At private clinics, the figure was 47.8 cases per 1,000 consultations, similar to the preceding week.
So recommended the public to get their flu jabs in as early as possible.
The Legislative Council Health Services Panel will meet today to discuss preparations for a surge in winter flu cases. Next month to April is considered the peak season for flu outbreaks.