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Seasonal Forecast for Winter 2016/17
(December 2016 to February 2017)

Hong Kong is expecting:
normal to above-normal temperature
normal to below-normal rainfall

Assessment (as of 26 January 2017):
  1. The average temperature and total rainfall recorded at the Hong Kong Observatory in December 2016 were 19.6 ºC and 6.6 mm respectively, corresponding to above-normal temperature and below-normal rainfall for the month. During the period of 1-25 January 2017, the average temperature and total rainfall recorded were 18.7 ºC and 3.4 mm respectively, which were 2.2 ºC above and 16.4 mm below their corresponding normal value for the same period.

  2. In the past month or so, sea surface temperatures over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific showed a weak warming trend based on the latest oceanic observations. According to forecasts by a number of climate models around the world, the chance of further La Niña development is becoming less likely. Hence, the probability of La Niña bringing cooler temperature to southern China is also decreasing. Climate models generally forecast an overall relatively weak northeast monsoon, and hence normal to above-normal temperature, over southern China for this February. Rainfall over the region would be normal to below normal, as generally forecast by the models.

  1. Climate prediction centres around the world generate seasonal forecasts, employing a variety of methods including dynamical models, statistical methods, expert judgment and combinations of them. Predictions from different centres do not always agree and large discrepancies can occur at times. The Observatory adopts an ensemble approach to formulate its seasonal forecast for Hong Kong, taking into consideration available products from major climate prediction centres and the Global-Regional Climate Model (G-RCM) operated in house. Thus, the resulting forecast issued by the Observatory may be different from the forecast given by G-RCM.

  2. The Observatory gratefully acknowledges the Tokyo Climate Center of the Japan Meteorological Agency and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA for providing dynamical prediction model forecast and hindcast data to support the formulation of seasonal forecast for Hong Kong.

  3. Forecast for spring 2017 (March to May 2017) will be available around 1st March 2017.

Seasonal forecast charts provided by G-RCM and major climate centres:
For further information on this webpage, please contact Mr. H W Tong (tel:2926 3112,