Typhoons in Hong Kong
Experiencing a typhoon for the first time can be daunting in Hong Kong. But unless safety is at risk, we seldom cancel a tour. It will be windy and wet but most of the time, typhoons can also be a lot of fun.
Typhoon season usually spans from May to October. But over the past few years, the Hong Kong Observatory has seen an increase in storm activity in August. Last year, Hong Kong was hit by 3 typhoons; within 2 weeks of each other. All of them were fierce with one reaching T10, the highest number on the awareness scale.
A typhoon is a mature tropical storm that develops in one of the world’s 7 basins. Hong Kong is located in the Northwest Pacific Basin. The storm changes names according to regions and can be referred to as cyclone, hurricane and typhoon.
Typhoons are part of our lives in Hong Kong and we are very fortunate to benefit from the expertise and experience of the Hong kong Observatory which was founded in 1883 and which has recorded every phenonenum since 1 January 1884. Its website and its app have become essential to Hong Kongers as they can check current forecast and past data.
The Obervatory tracks typhoons way before they reach Hong Kong as they usually form in the pacific ocean (China and Philippines seas). Their trajectories, their speed and their internal velocity help the Observatory raise awareness: T1, T3, T8, T9 and T10 (15 since 1946).
These alerts impact Hong Kong residents: at T3, kindergartens close, from T8, it is recommended that everyone go home. Thanks to this system, incidents are very rare. When they happen, it is usually because of people’s lack of good judgement.
Unlike Japan, Hong Kong has been pretty lucky in 2018, but things could change this weekend as super typhoon Mangkhut gets closer. Whether a full hit or not, HK Observatory is not taking any chances with this « big one», advising people to stay safe. With wind speed exceeding 200km/h, we are not even sure the new mega bridge linking Hong kong to Macau will hold.
So wherever you are on Sunday, hold on tight and stay safe if T8 or higher is hoisted, typhoon parties and get togethers can also be fun indoors !