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A scorching summer - record-breaking temperatures for two consecutive months

     Under the dominance of a subtropical ridge over southern China for most of July 2014, and with episodes of continental air flow brought about by the passage of tropical cyclones over the East China Sea, the month emerged as the hottest July in Hong Kong with a record-breaking monthly mean temperature of 29.8 degrees. The monthly mean minimum temperature of 27.6 degrees equalled the record high for July, while the monthly mean maximum temperature of 32.6 degrees ranked as one of the second highest for July. The month was relatively sunny and drier than usual with a monthly rainfall amount of 260.5 millimetres, about 31 per cent below the July normal of 376.5 millimetres. The accumulated rainfall since January 1 was 1,763.9 millimetres, about 20 per cent above the normal figure of 1,473.3 millimetres for the same period.

     The weather started off with mainly cloudy weather and isolated thundery showers in Hong Kong. As a moderate southwest monsoon prevailed over the south China coast, the weather was a mixture of sunshine and showers between July 2 and 16. On days with more sunshine, daytime conditions became very hot with temperatures exceeding 33 degrees. The intense heat was most keenly felt during the passage of Super Typhoon Neoguri over the East China Sea on July 8 and 9. There were also occasional days with cloudier and more showery weather, most noticeably on July 7 and 11.

     Meanwhile, Severe Typhoon Rammasun swept past Luzon on July 16 and edged closer to the south China coast. Local winds strengthened gradually and the weather became cloudy with showers and squally thunderstorms the next day. Rammasun further developed into a super typhoon on the morning of July 18 and made landfall near Wenchang over the northern part of Hainan Island. Local winds strengthened further with occasional heavy showers and squally thunderstorms that day. With Rammasun moving away and weakening gradually after crossing the coast of Guangxi, local winds subsided gradually and there were sunny periods with a few showers on July 19.

     With the establishment of an anticyclone over southeastern China, it was sunny and hot apart from a few showers on July 20 and 21. As Typhoon Matmo swept past Taiwan and moved into southeastern China over the next couple of days, Hong Kong was affected by a continental airstream that brought fine and very hot weather to the territory. The high temperatures also triggered some heavy showers and squally thunderstorms in the afternoon on July 22. The southwest monsoon was enhanced in the wake of Typhoon Matmo on July 23 and 24, while local weather was a mix of sunny periods and thundery showers up to July 27, with a funnel cloud observed over the waters west of Tuen Mun in the morning on July 25.

     A ridge of high pressure then extended over southern China and maintained generally fine and very hot weather in Hong Kong, with temperatures at the Hong Kong Observatory rising to a maximum of 34.2 degrees on July 29, the highest of the month. With Tropical Storm Nakri passing to the east of Taiwan, very hot conditions maintained in Hong Kong till the end of the month.

     Five 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 July are tabulated in Table 2.

Ends/Monday, August 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:12


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