Severe Weather Warning System in Hong Kong


Severe Weather

Typhoon Season in Hong Kong officially runs from May to November

Although Hong Kong continues to function very well in inclement weather, our climate is categorized as “humid sub-tropical” and there are a few instances when the rains can bring this metropolis to a halt.

The Hong Kong Observatory posts a number of severe warning signals, the most serious of which are those for approaching typhoons and heavy rainstorms. Keep reading for more information on the various signals, what they mean to you and what to do when you see them.

*Typhoon and Rainstorm Signal information provided by the Hong Kong Observatory

Typhoon Signals  |  Rainstorm Signals  |  Landslip Warning  |  Resources


Typhoon Signals

  Typhoon Signal No. 1

Interpretation Typhoon Signal No. 1
  • This stand-by signal indicates that a typhoon is within 800 km of Hong Kong
  • Wait and see; if it looks as if the signal will rise to T3, reconsider any plans that involve being out on open water.

  Typhoon Signal No. 3

Interpretation Typhoon Signal No. 3
  • T3 indicates that strong winds are in force and expected to persist and intensify within the next 12 hours.
  • The Observatory will keep everyone informed if they expect to raise the T8 signal, including a time frame.
  • Stay tuned to TV & radio announcements. If the raising of T8 is expected, start taking precautions now. Secure all loose objects around your home, especially plants and pots on rooftops or balconies, and check to make certain that any drains are free from blockage.
  • Stay away from open water, or if out boating, return to shore as quickly as possible.
  • If you live on an outlying island, then start preparing to home as the ferry is the first transport system to be affected.
  • At this stage, all kindergartens and elderly centers are closed, so make arrangements to collect your loved ones.

  Typhoon Signal No. 8

Interpretation Typhoon Signal No. 8
  • The arrows on these 4 different T8 signals indicate the direction of the gale force winds present in Hong Kong
  • All Offices, schools and non-essential services are closed during T8 signals. Public transport continues to operate as long as it is safe to do so. Contact your HR department for your severe weather guidelines.
  • In addition to the actions taken during T3, you should make sure all windows are locked and valuable items are moved away from windows. If you do not have storms shutters and are exposed to the typhoon’s approaching direction, then consider taping large windows to minimalize any damage from possible shattering

  Typhoon Signal No. 9

Interpretation Typhoon Signal No. 9
  • Gale or storm force winds increased in strength
  • Stay indoors and away from exposed windows. Close interior doors and be sure you (and your children) are in a secure part of your home. 
  • If you are away from home, find a safe place and remain there until conditions are safe for you to return home.

  Typhoon Signal No. 10

Interpretation Typhoon Signal No. 10
  • Hurricane force wind is expected or blowing; gusts may exceed 220 km/h and the eye of the storm is passing directly over Hong Kong
  • Take the same precautions as T9. There may be periods of calm as the eye of the storm passes, but the winds will resume with a vengeance quickly afterwards.

Because recent typhoons have been relatively mild over the past few years, many now treat a typhoon as a holiday. Many shops, restaurants and cinemas remain open, especially those in shopping centers. We would warn against too much complacency. Pay close attention to the news and, if a typhoon is expected to require a T9 or T10 signal, then please take the warnings seriously.



Rainstorm Signals

  Amber Rainstorm Signal
Amber Rainstorm Signal
  • Heavy rain is falling or expected to fall - exceeding 30ml per hour - and could cause flooding in low-lying areas
  • Make sure all windows are securely closed and tune in to TV & radio announcements regarding possible school closures.

  Red Rainstorm Signal
Red Rainstorm Signal
  • Heavy rain is falling or expected to fall—exceeding 50ml per hour -- and flooding may cause serious road flooding and traffic congestion.
  • Same as Amber except students should stay home or, if already at school, remain there until conditions are safe for them to return home.

  Black Rainstorm Signal
Black Rainstorm Signal
  • Very heavy rain is falling or expected to fall—exceeding 70ml per hour -- and there is widespread flooding and major disruptions
  • The Observatory will provide clear advice as to what actions should be taken.
  • Students should follow the same guidelines as for a Red rainstorm.
  • Stay indoors or take shelter in a safe place. If you are already at work you should stay there until the storm has passed.



Landslip Warning

  Landslip Warning
Landspil warning
  • Raised if there is a high risk of a landslide due to persistent heavy rains.
  • The Observatory will provide clear advice as to what actions should be taken. Government opens temporary shelters and prepares search & rescue operations should the need occur.
  • Thanks to the ongoing slope-improvement works, the risk of a major landslip may well be a thing of the past. Nevertheless, if you are in a high-risk area, seek shelter at a temporary shelter or with friends



Stay informed about the current weather situation via the sources listed below. All major office buildings and shopping centers will also post signs when a severe weather warning is hoisted.


The Hong Kong Observatory is the best resource for weather in Hong Kong

Telephone hotline 1878200 (press ‘1’ for Cantonese; ‘2’ for Mandarin; and ‘3’ for English)

Apps (iPhone / iPad)

My Observatory
iWeather HK
HK Warnings


For English radio services, tune into
Radio 3—AM 567, 1584; FM 97.9, 106.8, 107.8
Radio 4—FM 98.9 Radio 6—AM 675 (BBC World Service)


Terrestrial TV—TVB Pearl, ATV World
Now Broadband—Channel 376 or various news channels

School Information

To see if your child’s school is to be affected by potential closures, go to
The Hong Kong Bureau of Education
Hong Kong Observatory Information for Schools


All of us at APP Mobility wish you a safe & wonderful summer!

Send us an email for more detailed information about Severe Weather Warnings in Hong Kong.




footerTermsText | Copyright © 2008-2011 by Asia Pacific Properties Ltd. EAA License: C-002320