Flights cancelled as Typhoon Hato heads our way

After days of sweltering heat, Hong Kong is bracing for Typhoon Hato.

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) hoisted the strong wind warning signal this afternoon and says it may raise the T8 at around midnight. The T1 warning has been current since 8:40am.

Already dozens of flights have been affected. Most Cathay and Dragon flights scheduled to arrive or depart between 6pm and 5am Wednesday have been cancelled, Cathay Pacific said.

Hato is likely to be closest to Hong Kong tomorrow morning, bringing with it sustained wind speeds as high as 130kmh.

Hato’s expected course (HKO)

At 6pm, Hato was an estimated 410 kilometres east-southeast of Hong Kong and expected to move west-northwest at about 25 km/h.

The HKO’s new cyclone tracker says the typhoon has an 80% probability of hitting Hong Kong. Observatory senior scientific officer Queenie Lam Ching-chi told SCMP.com:

“Hato will definitely pose a threat to Hong Kong. With an intensity of 130kmh at its centre, it has all the conditions to develop into a stronger storm,” she said. “But a higher signal will depend on the data we obtain on its movement and wind structure.”

With the approach from the southeast Hato will be felt most strongly in low-lying coastal areas, including Lantau.

Even if Hong Kong avoids the worst of Hato, the Observatory predicts a week of cloud and rain..

Outlook: rain (Source: HKO)

The Observatory said its Tsim Sha Tsui headquarters early this afternoon had recorded its highest ever temperature – 36.6 degrees.

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