Hong Kong’s climate is sub-tropical, but tends to be temperate for nearly half the year. During the winter months the temperature can drop to below 10C, but in the summer months (June, July and August) this is reversed when the seasonal winds bring hot humid tropical air to the region.

Hong Kong is subject to a ‘typhoon’ season, which normally occurs between May and November, and typhoons can be particularly prevalent during September. Advisory bulletins and/or warnings are issued by the Hong Kong Observatory whenever a tropical cyclone centres within 800 km of Hong Kong and poses a threat to the territory. Once issued, signals are regularly broadcast over the radio and television, and signs are posted in the entrance halls of most office and apartment blocks and shopping malls.

It is important that newcomers to Hong Kong are able to easily recognise the warning systems that are in place and what to do. The warning system is very well designed and there are generally few accidents and a low level of damage to property. In other parts of the world, typhoons are also referred to as hurricanes.

Hong Kong also has a rainstorm warning system that alerts the public about the onset of heavy rain which is likely to bring about major disruptions. These warnings are independent of other severe weather warnings such as the tropical cyclone warning mentioned above, or landslip warnings, which are issued separately. The rainy season is normally between April and September and can be particularly heavy and persistent during May and June

The rainstorm warning system has three levels: AMBER, RED and BLACK.

The AMBER signal gives the alert about potential heavy rain that may develop into either RED or BLACK signals. It is likely that there will be flooding in some low-lying and poorly drained areas. The RED and BLACK signals warn of heavy rain, which is likely to bring about serious road flooding and traffic congestion. Instructions on what actions to take are given by the Hong Kong Observatory.

For Weather Information:

Seven-Day Weather Forecast for Hong Kong

Hong Kong Observatory (General Enquiries: (852) 2926 8200 | Weather System: 1878200 [local number])

Severe Weather Information Centre

Hong Kong Observatory Typhoon Information

HK Observatory Rainstorm Warning Information