It's Coooold!


It's cold here on Hong Kong Island. 10°C (50°) says the thermometer hanging out the living room window. This may not seem cold to any Northern Europoeans or North Americans reading, but it's damn cold when you're supposed to be in the Tropics! We're south of the Persian Gulf here! It should be hot!

For someone like me, who spend the first 29 years of life living mostly in dark, damp, north-western Europe, 10°C should be warm and positively balmy. So why am I so cold?

One of the reasons has to acclimatisation. Hong Kong's normally quite a warm and humid place, with the temperature over 25°C and the Relative Humidity around 70% or more, as you can see from the graph. There's also very little variation between day and night. Come 'wintertime' (or more accurately, Chinese New Year), the monsoon winds come down from Northern China and the temperature plummets, but the humidity stays high.

Hong Kong flats are built with a single thickness of outer wall. There is no insulation there, windows are always single glazed. Older flats are not well sealed and there are always draughts. Indeed, many flats are located to get cooling breezes during the long hot summer months to keep the Air Conditioner bills down. This is fine for the summertime, but for those few weeks of cold weather, all the heat leaches out through the concrete walls, and the flat stays, at best, a few degrees warmer than outside. Even our flat, which is relatively new, and has well-sealed doors and windows is only 5°C warmer than outside, according to my thermometer.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on January 19, 2004 1:14 PM.

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