A dry, warm and dreary 2012

The year 2012 was exceptionally overcast, with an annual total duration of bright sunshine of 1551.2 hours, the lowest since records began in 1885, the Hong Kong Observatory noted today.


The average temperature for 2012 was 23.4 degrees, 0.1 degrees above the 1981-2010 normal figure of 23.3 degrees, ranking the 12th highest since records began in 1885.


As for extreme temperatures, there were 21 very hot days, 23 hot nights and 21 cold days in 2012, about 11, 5 and 4 days more than the 1981-2010 normal figures.


The maximum temperature recorded at the observatory in 2012 was 34.5 degrees on August 28. During the intense cold surge of the winter monsoon, the minimum temperature of the year of 7.1 degrees was recorded on December 31. This was also the third coldest New Year’s Eve on record.


The year was drier than usual. With well below normal rainfall in June and August, the annual rainfall of 1924.7 millimetres was about 20% below the 1981-2010 normal. The observatory issued only two red rainstorm warnings in 2012, about half of the average in a year since the Rainstorm Warning System commenced operation in 1992.


It issued five tropical cyclone warning signals, close to the long-term average of six per year. The Hurricane Signal No. 10 was issued during the passage of Vicente in July, while the No. 8 Gale or Storm Signal was issued during the passages of Doksuri and Kai-tak in June and August.

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