HK set for a warm, humid start to the Year of the Pig 2019, with expected fog which could affect CNY fireworks

HK set for a warm, humid start to the Year of the Pig 2019, with expected fog which could affect CNY fireworks

The penultimate day of the Year of the Dog the second warmest second-last day of the lunar year in 96 years

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Yesterday was the second warmest second-last day of the lunar year in 96 years.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

Hong Kong will start the Year of the Pig with warm and humid weather, according to the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) website.

Chinese New Year’s day is set to be warm with sunny intervals, with one or two light rain patches in the morning. Temperatures will range from 19 to 23 degrees.

“Due to the moderately strong easterly airstream reaching the coast of Guangdong later this afternoon, it will get slightly windier tomorrow,” HKO’s Scientific Officer Chong Sze-ning told Young Post. “However, it will not lead to a drastic change in temperature.”

The warm spell will persist into the latter part of the week, with humidity slowly building to 95 per cent by Wednesday or Thursday. There will be coastal fog in the morning and at night as well. This fog could put a dampener on the city’s annual CNY fireworks display on Wednesday evening.

Those expecting cooler weather as the Lunar New Year arrives are correct in their confusion. Yesterday was the second warmest second-last day of the lunar year in 96 years.

With sunshine and light winds, the temperature hit 25.4 degrees Celsius at the HKO’s headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui in the afternoon, surpassing the 24.7 degrees recorded in 1956. It was, however, a degree lower than the 26.3 degrees recorded in 1923.

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According to a blog post released by HKO’s scientific officer Andy Lai Wang-chun on Friday, the warmest ever start to the Lunar New Year was recorded in 2007, when the maximum temperature hit 25.3 degrees. This record is followed by the 24.8 degrees recorded last year.

The coldest Chinese New Year on record was in 1950, when the minimum temperature hit 5.8 degrees Celsius, 1.1 degrees lower than the second coldest CNY, which was in 1996. Both were a result of intense surges of the winter monsoon.

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Chinese New Year has rarely been cloudless from 1949 to 2018, except in 1963 and 2016 due to the influence of very dry monsoons. They were also the driest Lunar New Year Days, with the daily mean relative humidity recorded at 29 and 52 per cent respectively.

The most humid start to a new lunar year was recorded in 2010, when the daily mean relative humidity reached 97 per cent.

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