Answers from Our Experts (2)
Hong Kong is probably not where you want to spend your summer vacation, unless you enjoy extreme humidity and temperatures in the upper 80s, with the occasional typhoon thrown in for good measure.
By far, the most pleasant time of year is November, when the skies clear, the humidity drops a little, and temperatures hover in the mid-70s.
Winter can be chilly, if not exactly cold, but avoid visiting during Chinese New Year, when many local businesses close and the airports are thronged with travelers on their way to visit family. Spring has its share of nice days, though the humidity can get high, and rain and thunderstorms are more frequent.
Whenever you visit, be sure to pay attention to any weather warnings. Heavy rain in Hong Kong doesn’t just mean wet feet; if it’s bad enough, compulsory suspensions of business and transport will be implemented until the storm passes.
Hong Kong is a tropical climate, so the weather doesn't have a vast range of temperatures, but even so, there are distinct seasons.
Winter, from December to March, is chilly but not cold. Temperatures rarely drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so a light jacket and scarf should do it. It's a pleasant time to sightsee, but Hong Kong doesn't have the vibrant energy of sunnier months.
In April and May, temperatures are rising, albeit at relatively unpredicatable rates. The typhoon season is beginning, and technically lasts until November. By early May, the ocean is usually warm enough to swim in.
In summer, many people complain about the merciless heat and humidity, which can indeed be incapacitating. If you don't do well in wet-heat, don't visit Hong Kong from June to August. However, native Hong Kongers try to make the best of the situation, and the city does blossom with late nights, outdoor parties, boat trips and beach days. It can be a fun time to visit. Even in typhoon season, rains rarely last all day. Tropical downpours tend to occur in late afternoon and very early morning, with clear patches in between.
In September, the humidity has burnt off a bit, and temperatures begin to cool. Fall is generally agreed upon as the best time to visit. The weather is pleasant, and it's still swimming weather.
Nevertheless, as around the globe, climate patterns are increasingly unpredicatable. In 2011, December was mild, wet and overcast, whereas December 2012 was clear but bitterly cold near Christmas, reaching temperatures near freezing.
It's a good idea to keep an eye on recent forecasts and warnings.