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The Hong Kong Weather Underground

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Am taking a break from reminiscing to post something more current.

I was checking out the forum at the Hong Kong Weather Underground for the first time a couple of days ago. This thread caught my attention. I was amused because the members were all lamenting the fact that no tropical cyclone had hit Hong Kong lately, & they were monitoring a tropical depression (07W) currently over the Philippines (see satellite picture below) & debating about whether it would affect Hong Kong or not.


One thing struck me : In most of the weather forums I've looked at, newcomers are usually welcomed & the senior members are more than happy to explain weather facts to the less learned. In the HK Weather Underground, however, I noticed a member who obviously didn't seem to know as much as the others. He was asking questions about the Tropical Cyclone naming system.

Shortly after, the Forum Administrator posted this :

For simple questions try searching the web for answers first. This helps training your research skills. Thank you.

This is a curious facet of Hong Kong culture that I have sometimes noticed : rather unsympathetic & unsentimental.

An acquaintance of mine, L, once went travelling in Europe with a friend from Hong Kong. At one of the borders, there was some discrepancy in L's passport, so the customs would not allow her to pass. L's friend got through with no trouble, & instead of waiting for L, got back on the coach & went off without her. L, not being the adventurous sort & finding herself alone in a foreign country, promptly broke down & cried.

While I was in Reading, I got to know A, this cute little girl from Hong Kong. We used to meet each Sunday & attend church together, & once took a day trip to Cambridge together with a few other people. When the time came for me to return to Singapore, I asked A for her address so that I could keep in touch. She gave it to me, but told me, frankly & cheerfully, that she wasn't going to write letters or keep in touch. She said it without embarrassment, as if it were quite natural. Later I spoke to her British friend Peter who had gone to Cambridge with us, & he said that A had told him exactly the same thing.

I have a colleague who was originally from Hong Kong, & when asked about this, he just shrugged & said, yup, Hong Kong folks are like that.

Having said that, however, I must admit that all the meteorologists I've met from the Hong Kong Observatory have been very nice people.


Anyway, a few days later, I checked the satellite pictures & saw that "07W" (now "Prapiroon", see above) had indeed made landfall on China. (Incidentally, "Prapiroon" is Thai for the god of rain).

Here is an image of the storm track :


When I logged on to the HK Weather Underground, the posts were flying fast & furious. Well I am happy for the members - they finally got their much sought-after typhoon! I noticed, though, that they were now also attacking the Hong Kong Observatory with great gusto, criticizing its typhoon forecasts. Heh. And I thought that in Singapore, the Met. Service sometimes has it bad.

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