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A cold February punctuated by warm episodes

     With several rounds of transition between warm and cold air masses along the coast of Guangdong, the weather of Hong Kong in February 2014 was marked by fluctuating temperatures. Mild episodes in the first and last weeks of the month contrasted sharply with the chilly weather that prevailed in mid-February. On the whole, February 2014 was cooler than usual with a monthly mean temperature of 15.5 degrees, 1.3 degrees below the normal figure of 16.8 degrees. February 2014 was also drier than normal. The monthly rainfall of 39.5 millimetres was about 27 per cent below the normal figure of 54.4 millimetres. Without any measurable rainfall in January 2014, the accumulated rainfall of 39.5 millimetres in the first two months of the year was only about half of the normal figure of 78.9 millimetres for the same period.

     Under the influence of a mild easterly airstream, the weather in Hong Kong was mainly fine apart from rather low visibility in the morning on the first two days of the month.  With the prevalence of a continental airstream, it became sunny and dry on February 3. The daytime temperature at the Hong Kong Observatory climbed to a maximum of 24.6 degrees, the highest of the month. A fresh to strong northeast monsoon reached the coastal areas of Guangdong the next morning and brought cloudy and windy conditions as well as a few light rain patches to the territory on February 4 and 5.
     With the moderation of the northeast monsoon, local weather turned milder with light rain patches over the next couple of days. Meanwhile, a cold front formed over the northern part of southern China on the morning of February 7 and reached the coastal areas of Guangdong that night. The winter monsoon behind the cold front brought a few rain patches and significantly cooler weather to Hong Kong on February 8.  

     With the arrival of an intense replenishment of the winter monsoon, the weather in Hong Kong became overcast and cold with occasional rain on February 9. Cloudy and cold weather with rain persisted from February 10 to 13. Temperatures recorded at the Hong Kong Observatory fell to a minimum of 7.3 degrees on the morning of February 12, the lowest in February since 1996.  While it stayed cold with morning temperatures below 10 degrees on February 14 and 15, sunny periods during the day brought temperatures back to 13 degrees or above over many places in the afternoon.  

     The cold air mass over the south China coastal areas was replaced by a milder and humid maritime airstream on February 16. Locally, it was humid with coastal fog on February 17 with the visibility at Waglan Island once falling to around 100 metres. Meanwhile, a cold front formed over the northern part of southern China on February 17 and crossed the coastal areas of Guangdong on the afternoon of February 18. In Hong Kong, the weather became windy with temperatures falling significantly later that day. Under the influence of the intense northeast monsoon, it became cold again with some rain on February 19. With clouds thinning out following the arrival of a dry continental airstream, the weather turned fine and dry on February 20.

     Affected by a fresh to strong northeast monsoon, the weather remained generally cloudy and rather cool on February 21 and 22. With sunny periods during the day, local temperatures recovered gradually from February 23 to 26. There were fog patches on February 25 and 26, with visibility at Waglan Island falling to around 100 metres on the morning of February 26 and temperatures in most parts of the territory rising to about 24 degrees during the day. Under the influence of a humid easterly airstream, the weather was mainly cloudy with morning mist for the rest of the month.

     Two tropical cyclones occurred over the South China Sea and the western North Pacific in the month.

     Details of issuance and cancellation of various warnings/signals in the month are summarised in Table 1. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal for February are tabulated in Table 2.

Ends/Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:28


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