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Traveling Tips For Hong Kong's Typhoon Season

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If you plan to travel to Hong Kong in summer and early fall, be aware that you might experience typhoon weather. Typhoons are severe only if the eye comes close to Hong Kong as rarely happens. Here is information about the typhoons and weather during typhoon season along with tips about what to do in case there is a typhoon.

Typhoon season: Hong Kong's typhoon season extends from May to early November. Peak typhoon season extends from July to September when there is a 50% chance or greater of a typhoon in the month. There is a much less chance of typhoons occurring in the other months.

Danger? Hong Kong is well prepared for typhoons. There is an effective storm warning system to warn people and instruct them about what to do. The buildings that most tourists might shelter in during a storm are built to specifications to withstand a typhoon. So in recent history, they have hardly posed a danger to tourists.

Duration and severity: Storm winds usually only last a few hours unless the eye passes closeby. Then high winds may last for about 8 hours. Since the year 1987, there has only been one typhoon to hit the city. There was also a near miss in 2012.

Monthly Climate and Typhoon Information During the Peak Season

During most of typhoon season, the chance of a typhoon is 30% or less. The peak months are July, August, and September.

July: There is almost a 60% chance that Hong Kong will experience a typhoon in July. July is hot and rainy. The average high and low temperatures are 32 °C (90 °F) and 27 °C (81 °F). There are occasional downpours or tropical storms and about 14 days of rain in the month for 324 mm of rain.

August: There is almost a 60% chance of a typhoon in August too, and it is hot and rainy too. The average high and low temperatures are 31 °C (88 °F) and 26 °C (79 °F). There are occasional downpours or tropical storms and about 15 days of rain in the month for 301 mm of rain.

September: There is a 50% chance of a typhoon in September. Unlike much of the rest of China that has a dry season in September, Hong Kong remains very rainy, and it is humid and warm at night. The average high and low temperatures are 30 °C (86 °F) and 26 °C (79 °F). Typhoons bring much of the 300 mm of rainfall in the month.

Hong Kong climate and weather forecast>>

Hong Kong Typhoon Signals

There are five signals that are broadcast for the public in case of a typhoon. There are no signals in between these such as 2 or 5 or numbers other than the five signals below:

  • Signal 1: The signal is posted when a storm that might become a typhoon is in the region. It is a warning to keep alert.
  • Signal 3: Expect gusts of wind up to 110 km per hour with possibly heavy rain. Public transportation still runs, but harbor cruises and some flights might be cancelled. Some stores and businesses might close, and kindergartens close.
  • Signal 8: Gale winds or stronger winds up to 180 km per hour are imminent. Everything closes down: schools, offices, tours, public transport, taxis, shops, restaurants, ferries, trains, and flights. A signal 8 might last for a day or less. Before a signal 8 is issued, plenty of warning is given several hours in advance to give the public a chance to return home or go to a safe place.
  • Signal 9 or 10: Expect a direct hit with the eye of the storm passing over Hong Kong. There are hurricane strength winds. A signal 9 or 10 is rare. Destructive force is expected.

Travelers' Tips for Typhoon Season

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  • Keep appraised of the weather information once Signal 1 is posted.
  • In case of inclement weather, carry rain gear.
  • Head for shelter if a Signal 3 is posted. Avoid outdoor areas.
  • In case of a Signal 8, make sure that your shelter can withstand typhoon force winds and is not in a place that floods during heavy rains. You'll have a little time to move to a safer location. Stock some water and food to last a day or two, and have flashlights, batteries, and candles ready.
  • If a typhoon hits Hong Kong which happens only once every 10 years in recent history, then stay away from windows. It might be a good idea to tape windows.

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