Hong Kong Experiences Hottest April on Record in 140 Years

Hong Kong has sweltered through its hottest April in recorded history, with temperatures soaring to unprecedented levels and sparking concerns about the impact of climate change on the city’s weather patterns.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, April 2024 saw an average temperature of 26.4 degrees Celsius, marking it as the warmest April since meteorological records began 140 years ago. This milestone underscores the escalating trend of rising temperatures and extreme heat events in the subtropical Chinese city.

“Summer is not yet here but April was already record-breakingly hot,” the observatory announced on social media, highlighting the alarming nature of the temperature spike.

In recent years, Hong Kong has witnessed a series of temperature records, with high-temperature records being set annually since 2019. On April 27 alone, the city recorded daily temperature records for April, including the highest daily average and the highest daily low temperatures.

This unprecedented warmth follows an exceptionally warm winter and a much warmer than usual March, setting the stage for above-normal temperatures throughout 2024, according to the observatory’s projections.

In response to the sweltering conditions, Hong Kong’s labor department has updated its heat stress warning system, aligning it with the observatory’s hot weather alerts. The revised system mandates rest periods or suspension of work depending on temperature levels and types of work, aiming to safeguard workers from heat-related illnesses.

Despite these measures, concerns persist regarding the potential health impacts of extreme heat, with critics questioning the effectiveness of the warning system and the absence of legal provisions for heatstroke as a work-related injury.

Amidst growing scientific consensus on the exacerbation of extreme heat events by human-induced climate change, Hong Kong’s record-breaking April serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of rising temperatures in the region and beyond.