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Typhoon Alice
16 - 21 May 1961


An area of bad weather crossed the southern Philippines on May 13th and entered the China Sea on the 14th. It developed into a tropical depression on the 16th and moved northwestward. By the 18th this depression had intensified to a typhoon and had been named 'Alice'. Local storm signal No. 1 was hoisted at 1600 hrs. when the typhoon was centred about 220 miles south of the Colony. There were indications that the storm was continuing to intensify and, as it was moving northwards at 10 knots towards Hong Kong, No. 3 signal was hoisted at 1840 hrs. With the wind gradually increasing over the Colony and the storm continuing to move closer, No. 7 signal was hoisted at 0550 hrs. on the 19th and No. 9 at 0835 hrs. At the Royal Observatory the wind reached gale force by 0900 hrs. and gusts up to 69 knots were recorded. Radar observations indicated that the eye of the typhoon would be over the Colony at about 1300 hrs. on May 19th and No. 10 signal was hoisted at 1030 hrs. At the Royal Observatory the easterly winds reached their peak of 43 knots with gusts to 89 knots at midday, and then fell away to become calm at 1304 hrs. The calm persisted for sixteen minutes, but by 1500 hrs. southwesterly winds had set in and increased to gale force in the harbour area. Warnings of these had been given by the No. 6 signal which replaced No. 10 at 1300 hrs. At 1600 hrs. on the 19th, winds of 42 knots with gusts up to 74 knots were recorded at the Royal Observatory but the wind decreased steadily and No. 6 signal was replaced by No. 3 at 1930 hrs. No. 3 was lowered the next morning at 0200 hrs. 'Alice' was the first storm on record to cause gales in the harbour in May.

Last revision date: <18 Dec 2012>