Index:


Introduction



The climate of Hong Kong is subtropical, with very mild winters and hot, rainy, and muggy summers.

Winter, from December to February, is very mild, with lows around 15 °C (59 °F) and highs around 20 °C (68 °F). The sun shines roughly half the time in December, then it gradually becomes less frequent, and there are more and more days with cloudy skies, fog and drizzle. There may also be windy days. Some days can be pleasantly warm, while in others, the temperature can drop to around 10/15 °C (50/59 °F) during the day, and the wind can increase the feeling of cold. Occasionally, it can even get cold, with lows around 5 °C (41 °F) and highs around 10 °C (50 °F).

Spring, from March to May, is very mild or pleasantly warm, but the sky is almost always cloudy, in addition, there may be fog in March and April. In March, a cold wind can still blow, with highs around 13/15 °C (55/59 °F), especially in the first half of the month. Starting from mid-March, with the increase in temperature, the first thunderstorms occur. Already in May, the weather is hot and sultry, with highs around 28 °C (82 °F), even though it's not as hot as in the summer months; moreover, the rains become significant.

The long summer, from June to September, is hot, humid, and rainy, with heavy showers or thunderstorms, although the sun shines on average a few hours per day. Daytime temperatures are around 30/32 °C (86/90 °F), and the heat is felt because of the urban heat island effect, together with moisture coming from the sea. Luckily, there is widespread use of air conditioning. Usually, it remains unpleasantly hot even at night: lows rarely drop below 25 °C (77 °F), but they can even remain around 28/29 °C (82/84 °F). In the hills around the city and in the districts overlooking the sea, at least the breeze blows. On sunny days, the temperature can reach 35 °C (95 °F). In July, there is often a pause, a period of good weather lasting a week or two.
The probability of typhoons, which bring heavy rains and strong winds for a few days, with the risk of flooding and landslides, is highest in this season.

In the short autumn, in October and November, the rains become rare and generally not abundant, and the sun is a bit more frequent than in the other seasons. In the first part of October, it can still be hot and muggy, but then it gradually becomes more pleasant; in this month, however, and sometimes even in the first half of November, tropical cyclones can still arrive. In November, the temperature is generally pleasant, with highs around 24/25 °C (75/77 °F), but cool and windy days gradually become more likely, and sometimes, in the second part of the month, it can get a bit cold.

Hong Kong

Temperature and rainfall



The average temperature in Hong Kong ranges from 16.5 °C (62 °F) in January to 29 °C (84.5 °F) in July. Here are the average temperatures.
Hong Kong - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)151517212426272726242016
Max (°C)191921252830313130282420
Min (°F)595963707579818179756861
Max (°F)666670778286888886827568

Rainfall is abundant, in fact, it is around 2,400 millimeters (94.5 inches) per year. In the hills around the city, rainfall is even more abundant, so much so that more than 3,000 mm (118 in) fall per year in Tai Mo Shan, which is the highest peak of Hong Kong at 957 meters (3,140 feet). The rainiest period is from May to September, when the rainfall exceeds 300 mm (12 in) per month in the city, while the least rainy period is from November to January, when it drops below 50 mm (2 in) per month.
Here is the average precipitation.
Hong Kong - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)25558017530545537543033010040252400
Prec.(in)12,23,16,91217,914,816,9133,91,6194,5
Days5911121519181715765138

Sunshine



The amount of sunshine in Hong Kong is not great all year round, and it's scarce from February to April, when the sky is often overcast. In the rainy season, the sun shines paradoxically more often, since the rains occur in the form of downpours or thunderstorms, which do not last long, so the sun can shine again after a while, except when typhoons hit the area. In autumn, the amount of sunshine remains acceptable or improves slightly, however, cloudy days are possible in this season as well. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Hong Kong - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours533355766666

Sea temperature



The sea is warm enough for swimming from April to November, and it becomes definitely warm from May to October. In winter, the South China Sea is cool but not cold: it drops to 20 °C (68 °F) in January and February.
Hong Kong - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)202022232628292928272422
Temp (°F)686872737982848482817572

Typhoons



As mentioned earlier, Hong Kong can be hit by typhoons, the tropical cyclones of Southeast Asia. Typically, typhoons occur in this area from June to early November, but they have sometimes affected this area outside of this period, as happened in April 2008 with Typhoon Neoguri (or Ambo) and in May 2006 with Typhoon Chanchu (or Caloy).

Best Time



It's not easy to find the best time to visit Hong Kong. Winter can be a good period, although the sky is often cloudy in the second part; moreover, it can be windy, and sometimes, though rarely, it can be a little cold. Spring is pleasantly warm, but it's also cloudy, and when the sun becomes a little more frequent, the rains begin as well, then, by May, it becomes muggy and there is some risk (though still low) of typhoons. In theory, autumn is the best season, but in October, a typhoon can still arrive, while in November, there can be the first cool and windy days, and sometimes, at the end of the month, it can already be a little cold. All in all, the best times are from mid-March to mid-April and from mid-October to late November.

What to pack



In winter: bring spring/autumn clothes, a sweatshirt or sweater, a jacket, a raincoat or umbrella, and a hat for colder days.
In summer: bring tropics-friendly, lightweight clothing, a light sweatshirt for air-conditioned places, and a light raincoat or umbrella.

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