Winter in Hong Kong
Winter weather in Hong Kong is mostly cold and dry. Local people do not like this as much as Autumn as it is too cold. Like Spring it is a time of alternation as it goes between a clear and overcast sky. Normally winter is considered to have started in December, and with Christmas events and some years a "winter fest" in Central district, there is a distinctly different feel to Hong Kong.
Enjoying the "WinterFest - that year sponsored by AIA insurance - with outdoor skating rings. It is only just cold enough for them to stay frozen, about 10C.
The weather itself is appreciated by those who like the cold, and the lack of rain is generally good. There is little or no chance of a typhoon during winter which is some relief from the concerns of high winds, broken flower pots and event cancelations! There is a crisp feeling in the air during winter which is a little like what you may feel in some more northern countries, but not as intense.
One big problem for the winter months is really only felt by local residents in that the houses are not well heated or insulated, so people are cold at home. Combined with a preference by many for "fresh air", meaning windows get left open, this can mean that dressing warmly including in jackets inside the house is not unusual.
In malls, hotels, offices and so on there is plenty of heating though so the average visitor or tourist won't have this problem. If you are staying with a home-stay or a small guesthouse though you may have a problem, and when booking a visit in such smaller accommodation during winter it is wise to ask about heating.
While it does rain during the winter it is a lot less common and not at all a problem, there are rarely storms or high winds either. So for visitors coming from northern countries who are used to temperatures in the 10-15C range, the 50's F, it won't be a problem at all. The only concern will be local Hongkongers finding it a bit "strange" when a Norwegian visitors wears a short sleeve t-shirt on the day when the HKer is wearing a padded ski-jacket!
See the pages about the months for details:
By mid-winter those trees in Hong Kong which drop their leaves, which is less than half of them, will have done so. So there will be a few scenes like this with bare branches, but it is still warm enough for birds like this "Crested Bulbul" with the red spots on the cheeks.
So if you like to do hill walking and watching wildlife then the winter season is still good, although most locals do that type of activity in the autumn it is actually often more comfortable in the real winter.
In the winter the lack of rain and the airflow from the north, bringing with it airflow from over the mainland China and the rest of the northern Asian continent, means that the air itself is very dry. You'll find the lowest humidity during the late Autumn and early Winter, and it can be quite a shock for those coming from other Asian countries. Singaporeans and those from the Philippines may find the dry air means dry skin, even cracked lips at times.
Local people trying to keep pot plants watered may also struggle, but it is one of the few times of the year that it is dry enough to do some times of western baking that presume a low humidity. Inside hotels and other buildings the air is of course maintained at a "normal" humidity level so this won't be a problem for visitors while inside. However, while shopping, sightseeing and most of all while doing outdoor activities such as visiting outlying islands or visiting the many country parks of Hong Kong you may want to bring a good supply of lip balm.
Winter skies are often bright and clear, or have interesting patterns such as this occasion over Victoria Harbour with the ICC tower in the foreground. You won't see things like this in the spring and while in the summer it is sometimes very clear, it tends to be a simpler blue sky.
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