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Radar Image Gallery


Welcome to the Hong Kong Observatory's Radar Image Gallery.

The Observatory has been using storm-detecting weather radar for weather monitoring and forecasting since 1959.  Over the years, several generations of weather radar have been deployed, capturing at various times weather phenomena of interest to both the public and the weather forecasters. Readers interested in a history of weather radar used in Hong Kong and how a radar works may like to visit:

Weather Radar Observations In Hong Kong 

50th Anniversary of Weather Radar Observations in Hong Kong Commemorative Booklet 

The radar image gallery contains radar pictures of severe weather including tropical cyclones, rainstorms, hailstorms and thunderstorms. There are also pictures containing artifacts caused by special conditions in the atmosphere and by the way the radar is operated. These pictures are included in the gallery to remind the reader the importance of interpreting radar pictures with caution.

Apart from providing knowledge of weather radars, we wish to heighten the public awareness towards disaster preparedness through this gallery.

satellite gallery
Storms and Precipitation Event Date Description
Evening Thunderstorms 31 August 2003 A tropical cyclone far away can sometimes bring thunderstorms to Hong Kong.
Gust Front 4 August 2003 Heavy downpours can bring severe gust, whose foremost edge is known as the gust front.
Isolated Shower 1 July 2003 Isolated showers appear as small individual patches on a radar image.
Winter Rain 6 January 2003 In winter, rain is usually brought about when warm and cold air masses meet.
Winter Thunderstorms 19 December 2002 A cold front can also bring thunderstorms during the cool season.
Tornado 20 May 2002 The terminal Doppler weather radar at Tai Lam Chung captured a tornado in May 2002 for the first time since its operation in 1998.
Squall Line 9 May 2001 Squally thunderstorms within a squall line.
Hailstorm 9 April 2001 Hail occurs on average about once every one to two years and mostly in spring.
Rainstorm 24 August 2000 A tropical cyclone can sometimes bring heavy rainfall even though it did not make a direct hit.

Tropical Cyclones Event Date Description
Typhoon Dujuan 2 September 2003 A typhoon with double eye walls.
Severe Tropical Storm Hagupit 11 September 2002 Hagupit has asymmetric distribution of rain bands.
Typhoon Yutu 25 July 2001 The spiral rain band of Yutu is a typical characteristic of a tropical cyclone.

Artifacts Event Date Description
Sea Clutter 24 July 2003 Sea Clutter is a kind of spurious echoes that is caused by reflection from rough seas.
Second Trip Echo 19 June 2003 A distant rain area can sometimes show up on the radar image as "Second trip echo".
Anomalous Propagation 31 May 2003 Under certain weather conditions, radar can give a false impression of rain. Users must exercise utmost care when interpreting radar images.
Sunlight 21 May 2003 Radar captures and displays signals from the sun, particularly during sunrise and sunset.

Historical Pictures Event Date Description
Typhoon York 16 September 1999 York's three-dimensional radar image provides a perception of the structure of rain and storm.
Tai Mo Shan storm-detecting weather radar 1999 The Observatory implemented a more advanced Doppler radar at Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong.
Terminal Doppler weather radar The terminal Doppler weather radar is used for the detection of windshear and microburst that might affect the safety of aircraft using the Hong Kong International Airport.
Tate's Cairn weather radar 1994 The Observatory's first Doppler radar.
Typhoon Ellen 1983 The computer-based radar in 1983 was installed just in time to capture Typhoon Ellen.
Digital radar 1983 The Observatory's first computer-based radar.
Typhoons with Double Eye Walls in the 1970s - Typhoon Elsie and Typhoon Hope 1975 and 1979 Typhoons with double eye walls captured by the observatory's radar in the 1970s.
Typhoon Rose 1971 Typhoon Rose was another very intense typhoon affecting Hong Kong in the 1970s.
Plessey 43S radar 1966 The Observatory's second storm-detecting weather radar.
Plessey 43S radar An Observatory personnel at work in front of a display of Plessey 43S radar.
Typhoon Wanda 1962 The Observatory's second weather radar.
Decca 41 radar 1959 The Observatory's first storm-detecting weather radar.