Hong Kongers baked in the heat on Saturday as temperatures soared to 37.8 degrees Celsius in Sheung Shui. It is the highest reading since records began, according to the Observatory.

Temperatures in Happy Valley and Sai Kung also edged up to 37C, while the Peak offered visitors some respite with temperatures just nudging 31C.

Under the influence of Tropical Cyclone Soudelor battering Taiwan, winds in Hong Kong dropped causing pollution levels to skyrocket.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Hong Kong was 38C,while the lowest was -4C, according to website China.org.cn.

Tropical cyclone Soudelo has killed four people in Taiwan.

On Saturday afternoon, the Air Quality Index topped 157 in Kwai Fong – rated as “unhealthy”. Readings in Beijing were around 57.

Air Quality Index readings on Saturday.

Saturday also marks Liqiu – the first day of autumn according to the Chinese agricultural calendar.

This June was Hong Kong’s hottest since records began in 1884, according to the Observatory, which earlier this year predicted higher temperatures than usual for 2015. July was warmer and cloudier than usual, with a mean temperature of 29.1C – 0.3C above the norm. The first seven months of the year saw rainfall totaling 1376.8 – seven per cent below normal.

Historically, the mean daily maximum temperature in August is 31C.

For the rest of the weekend, the outlook is mainly fine and very hot but hazy. There will be isolated showers and squally thunderstorms later, according to the Observatory. Thunderstorms and showers are expected over the next couple of days.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.