Thunderstorms and downpours in HK as Observatory issues first ever rainstorm warning of 2019

Thunderstorms and downpours in HK as Observatory issues first ever rainstorm warning of 2019

Amber rainstorm warning signal issued at 9am, indicating rainfall exceeding 30mm per hour

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The Hong Kong Observatory issued the amber rainstorm warning at 9am on Tuesday.
Photo: Winson Wong/SCMP

Hong Kong woke up to thunderstorms and downpours heavy enough to warrant the first rainstorm alert of 2019 – the earliest ever issued in a calendar year – on Tuesday morning.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the amber rainstorm warning signal at 9am, indicating rainfall exceeding 30mm per hour. It was cancelled at 10.10am.

“There will be flooding in some low-lying and poorly drained areas,” the Observatory said. “People who are likely to be affected should take necessary precautions to reduce their exposure to risk.”

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It is the first time any rainstorm warning had been issued so early in a year since the current three-level rainstorm warning system was revised and adopted in 1998.

According to Observatory figures, no rainstorm signal had ever been issued in the months of February, January and December and the earliest amber rainstorm signal ever issued was on March 5, 2009.

A trough of low pressure is currently bringing heavy rain and thunderstorms to the coast of Guangdong province, the forecaster said on Tuesday morning.

Parts of the Islands District were being hammered by up to 42mm of rain, while Wan Chai and Southern were getting anywhere from 19 to 27mm. A thunderstorm warning has been in place since 6am.

Warm weather with sunny periods and foggy mornings and evenings are in store for the next couple of days with average temperatures rising slightly to 23 to 25 degrees on Wednesday.

Wet weather is expected to make a return over the weekend.

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