Compared to many other major centres in Asia, Hong Kong has a surprisingly comfortable climate. That being said, it does have an oppressively hot and humid summer season. It does not have, however, the frigid cold winters of Beijing or Seoul, nor the narrow comfort zone of Shanghai. The sea and mountains have a moderating effect that many expats find unique in Asia.
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate which is temperate for about half the year. November and December are considered the best months and have pleasant breezes, comfortable temperatures and an abundance of sunshine. January and February are generally characterized by dry northerly winds, clouds and cold fronts. Urban areas can occasionally dip below 10°C and at higher elevations and in the New Territories sub zero temperatures are not unheard of.
Pleasant weather mixed with spells of high humidity best describe March and April. During these months there is often a lot of fog and drizzle , which can occasionally disrupt air traffic and ferry service due to reduced visibility.
Between May and August the weather gets oppressively hot and humid for most people, particularly those from northern climes. Temperatures regularly exceed 31°C during the day and cool to only 26°C at night leaving most reaching for the air conditioner remote control. During the summer there are frequent showers and thunderstorms with a dry spell of about a week arriving sometime in July.
Tropical cyclone season runs from May to September. In the western North Pacific and China Seas about 31 cyclones form each year with about half of that number reaching typhoon strength (winds of 118 km per hour or more) When a cyclone moves closer than about 700 km from Hing Kong there is heavy and widespread rain which can cause flooding and landslides. When a cyclone remains outside the 1000 km distance to Hong Kong, the weather is usually fine, though exceptionally hot with evening thunderstorms.
80% of the rain that Hong Kong sees falls between May and September with the wettest month being August. Areas can vary significantly in the amount of rain they see with some such as Tai Mo Shan seeing 3000 mm or more and others such as Waglan Island seeing less than half that amount.
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