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Is Hong Kong Sunny or Gloomy (or both)?

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  1. #1

    Is Hong Kong Sunny or Gloomy (or both)?

    Coming from NYC or the northeastern seacoast of USA, does Hong Kong seem to be more sunny or more gloomy, weather-wise? Looking at the average hours of sunshine statistics on hk observatory website, I see HK has about 2000 hours of sunshine a year. This is a lot more than London (about 1500) where I used to live (and had trouble with the gray skies and lack of sunshine), but much less than NYC where we get about 2500-2600 hours. In fact, Portland, Oregon, which is renowned in USA for a lack of sunshine, gets about as much sunshine as Hong Kong according to statistics (which I know can be misleading).

    I've only been in Hong Kong a few times and have loved it every time (enough so to consider relocating). But my visits have been in Nov, Dec, and early Jan and I was fortunate to have very sunny weather in each of those months. When I look at pictures of Hong Kong from various sites though, I often see a lot of cloud cover and gloomy skies.

    So I am writing to see whether people who live in HK generally consider it to be a sunny or a gloomy place (of course, a bit of both at different times I'm sure, but overall). If you came from London vs Sydney you may well have different takes on this and I would be interested to hear them as I love HK but do not know whether I could endure the often gray skies I used to live under in england.

    One other wrinkle--a company that I work with has offices in HK and generally asks its employees to spend 9 months in hk and the months of June, July, and August back in the states. From the sunshine charts for hk, it looks like they are out of HK during the sunniest part of the year. And thus I wonder if I worked on this kind of schedule whether I would be spending the gloomiest part of the year in HK (other than nov & dec) while being away during the sunniest part? I don't mind heat or humidity--i'm weird that way --I just need the sun!

    Thanks so much for any thoughts on the above and sorry for such a long post! Any input would be appreciated.


  2. #2

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    1st.... That sounds like a dream job. If I could leave HK during the summer and only be here during the other season.... I would probably lik HK even more.

    HK is extremely hot and humid. I am from NY area as well, and would never consider HK to be "sunny". In fact, I often wonder where th sun is. I would say most days are filled with smoggy, hazy, humid air masking any chance of a blue sky.

    But, when those clear day do happen, it makes you reall appreciate how beautiful this plac can be. It's a shame so muc pollution in the air though.


  3. #3

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    Even when it's sunny the visibility can be quite reduced by the pollution, so overall you may find it rather gloomy. But then unless your job involves working outside you'll likely be indoors during most of the hours of daylight at least 5 days a week anyway. Being close to the equator, we never have the long sunny evenings of more temperate climes - sunset is never later than 7:15pm.


  4. #4

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    Love the weather between mid october and early May. It doesn't rain much during that time and it's very comfortable outside. It doesn't often feels really sunny because of the haze and the pollution is bad, often worse in the "winter".


  5. #5

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    Yeah...it's bright out, and it's hot most months of year, but it's quite difficult to find the suns location when looking up.


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    Oh and having lived in the Pacific Northwest, my personal experience is that it's far more depressing there in terms of weather in the winter where you feel like it's constantly cold, rainy, dark and miserable. The only way I sanely survived was to escape to snowy mountains as often as I could. The summer however is to die for unlike in HK where it's abominable.


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    Gloomy?

    Hazy and overcast in summer, sure, like any tropical or subtropical place! Not sure how most posters would fare in true tropics where it is hazy, hot and humid every day of the year. Hazy, yes, wouldn't call it gloomy though!! Definately harder to see the sun on HK island though. I've travelled from sunny skies in the new territories to overcast on the island, but gloomy, no! Maybe after living in gloomy England it's hard to describe HK using the same adjective!!


  8. #8

    Thanks everyone for the great input!!

    What I was really worried about were iron gray skies with low clouds looming over that you often get in London (or, apparently per giles!, in the Pacific NW) for extended periods--yuck! Haze isn't as good as direct sun, but much better than a sky full of dark clouds and general dreariness i imagine.

    I actually like hot and humid subtropical weather. i'm only really happy in nyc during july and august when the air is soupy and you do not need even a sweater morning or evening. so perhaps i would do ok with hong kong weather for at least a good part of the year. :-) in fact, i'll be visiting hong kong again this winter in part to get away from cold nyc for a bit!

    bryant raises a good point--are there microclimates in hong kong where one could maximize sun exposure yet still have access to Central for job? i.e., is it better sun-wise to live in a certain area of hong kong island (like stanley or aberdeen) or on another island (lantau) and commute to Central? Commutes are never any fun, but if a place had substantially better weather than hong kong island or kowloon that would definitely make it more attractive.

    thanks again for all of your help. :-)


  9. #9

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    The weather is great now. I hate HK weather during summer, I spent weeks not seeing a clear blue sky. It was so humid and hot especially when its mixed with pollution from China.


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    I'm sure people will argue with me and I'm no scientist but I am very, very sure that the climate and pollution are different in central than other parts of the territory. People in the city, Hong Kong city, often accuse China for their pollution problem but I can see Shenzhen from my roof, Im that close, near Yuen Long, and I promise you, it is much less polluted here than in the city. The pollution in the city just might have something to do with the countless vehicles crawling along in constant gridlock through a rabbits warren of skyscrapers clinging to the side of a mountain, lol (just a thought) I mean, can any of the China blamers honestly say that the pollution level or haze level is the same in Sai Kung, or Tai Po, Tung Chung, Yuen Long - It just isn't, and I promise, anyone who commutes from far out in the NTs will tell you how it hits you right in the throat on a hot and humid day as you step off a bus/train in Central or even Kowloon for that matter. My advice, though obviously unscientific!! Suck a lungful of air in central then zoom out to Sai Kung and try the same. Also, many people will know that I did some chauffering when I first came to HK, ask any driver or cabbie who is taking tourists to see the peak, pick someone up from a hotel in Mong Kok and it's not until you catch sight of it from Kowloon side that you can judge what the visibility will be like haze wise, whether caused by polloution or otherwise...


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