Stormy weather – Prapiroon – due for 3-5 August

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    Meanwhile, back on the main Praya – in lee of main winds – some folk drinking coffee, others working, or heading to ferries [img][/img]


    east-west running street acting like a wind tunnel; brolly carriers beware [img][/img]


    Tho "only" Number 3 signal up, winds recorded at Cheung Chau have been storm force – 10-minute average in range 85-105 km/hr – for much of this morning. – while chart for Ngong Ping shows sustained winds of over hurricane force (ie over 118 km/hr – actually reaching over 130 km/hr for 10-min average); Charlie Frew has emailed re gusts there reaching 176 km/hr prapccwinds3aug.gif

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/08/03 12:39


    During the afternoon, HK Obs radar showed rain bands towards centre of Prapiroon were close to western HK. Here, not too much rain CC waterfront, but dark beyond the typhoon shelter – the heavy rain indeed closing in. Rather dark at the time, as clouds thickening overhead. prapiroonfamilypraya.jpg


    And a little before 5pm, heavy rain indeed falling, with great gusts sweeping across rooftops, through streets, and sending spray scudding across the typhoon shelter (which indeed relatively sheltered from predominantly easterly winds). [img][/img]


    Not too many people roaming the Praya at this time!



    fishing boats huddled together in the typhoon shelter, as squalls blast across Cheung Chau [img][/img]


    Back on Internet, on HK Observatory site: 10-minute average winds at Cheung Chau peaked at 115 km/hr at 5pm – just short of hurricane force. While at Ngong Ping, 10-min average winds rose to around 170 km/hr, and then no more weather data: gotta suspect the equipment got wrecked by the winds (here, at least Category 2 on hurricane scale, tho this for 1-min average I think).

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/08/03 18:48


    Ngong Ping station went dark around 4:30pm this afternoon. Gusts were registering over 200 km/h for about the hour before that.

    Downed trees, broken limbs, and the like here on Peng Chau. One of the trees fell on a house.

    Thankfully the wind changed directions around 5:30pm from the East to SouthEast, so Peng Chau’s Tung Wan will be quieter tonight.


    South China Morning Post is among media with questions re whether HK Observatory was correct to only issue Number 3 signal yesterday, when west of Hong Kong experiencing storm and even hurricane force winds, and there were gales blowing in the harbour. Does seem a grave error, apparently making a mockery of the signals. (It may not have been crucial to close down the city, but there were dangerous winds. Perhaps the outmoded signalling system is at least partly to blame; also HK Observatory being rather stick in the mud, or even erring on side of caution with regard to effect on business.

    In email re this, Roger Kendrick suggests "Surely with the level of technology now available it is easier to be more specific with regard to warnings." Much discussion of this on Weather Underground forum; one post making a point I’d noticed: bulletin(s) from HKO mentioned winds at, say, Waglan – but not Cheung Chau, where winds far more powerful; was this partly to cloud the issue, make it seem more reasonable to not issue Number 8?

    I earlier (2004) had email discussion with KY Yeung of HK Observatory, regarding my impression that Number 8 signal is not great: are times when it is issued and looks like could be far worse than gales to come, other times when gales are all that appear likely: in first case, closing down Hong Kong seems wise, while shutting much of the city for gales not so wise. I’d suggested having two different signals for these situations (tho Number 9 – increasing gale or storm signal – could play stronger role here). Yesterday was perhaps one of the more borderline cases: the eye was virtually certainly missing Hong Kong, by fair distance; yet there were gales and even stronger winds. No need, then, to close all Hong Kong, yet should have warned of dangers, and regional variations. People living on Cheung Chau, say, maybe should not have had to take ferries to jobs in the city. Hong Kong Number 8 tropical cyclone warning needs revamping?

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