Although rumours of snow on January 24 were quickly dispelled by the Observatory, Hong Kong has indeed seen snow in the past.

Artist’s impression. Photo: Sherman Sham.

There have been four instances of snowfall recorded in the territory since weather records began, according to the Observatory. All of them occurred more than forty years ago.

Artist’s impression.

Snow was detected once on February 2, 1967 at Cape Collinson. All remaining occurrences were reported at Tai Mo Shan on December 13, 1967, January 29, 1971, and December 14, 1975. Tai Mo Shan is the highest peak in subtropical Hong Kong.

December 14, 1975 was also the coldest day in 91 years at the time. Temperatures were recorded to be as low as 4.3 degrees Celsius for the territory.

Chinese newspaper reports on record cold weather and snow in Hong Kong in 1975.

There have also been claims about snow on an earlier date, January 18, 1893, when temperatures dipped to freezing point. But the figure remains unverified as it was not recorded by the Hong Kong Observatory.

Whether it snows or not this week, Hong Kongers ought wrap up, as temperatures are set to dip to 7 degrees Celsius.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.