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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cyclone Passes Close to Hong Kong

Strengthening winds - possibly reaching gale force - are expected this evening together with showers as a tropical depression moves closer to Hong Kong. For most parts of the city it's business as usual:

Image by Slipstream (taken earlier today)

Cyclone bears down on Hong Kong (The Standard)

The Standby No 1 Signal was hoisted at 9.35pm last night as the depression moved within 100 kilometers of Dongsha and less than 500km from Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Observatory scientific officer Wong Wing-tak said on its current course it will pass quite close to Hong Kong tomorrow.

"We expect it will get quite close but not a direct hit," Wong said, adding the cyclone is still likely to bring squally showers and gusty winds.

Heavy showers are forecast for tomorrow and Thursday with occasional showers for the rest of the week and thunderstorms on Sunday.

Wong said on average Hong Kong experiences about six tropical cyclones each year though not all hit the territory directly.

While the current cyclone does not appear strong, it may intensify. "This one is now very weak but we expect it to interact with the cloud system nearby and that after the interaction it will become bigger and stronger," Wong said.

The incoming cyclone may also have contributed to the flush of hot weather Hong Kong has experienced over the past few days.

"When there's a tropical cyclone in the area, the air that goes up will have to come down somewhere else," Wong said. "When the air subsides it will heat up the atmosphere."

A hot weather warning has been in effect for several days and the Department of Health is warning residents to take measures to avoid heatstroke and sunburn.


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