Weather, roasted alive

Thursday 2 August 2012, 11.20pm HKT

IT’S … srsly … flippin’ … hot … today…

WHOAR! Bloody ’ell!

Most people have totally inaccurate conceptualisations about how hot/cold/dry/wet the weather can get.

There are a couple of things I’ve learnt about people on weather:—

  1. most people are wildly inaccurate when judging temperature (weather or otherwise)
  2. most people don’t even know elementary weather lore (“red sky at night, shepherd’s delight,” etc)
  3. most people in temperate climes are better at judging the weather than people in the desert and tropical regions
  4. the longer a person has lived in a place, the more likely that person will claim there never was a winter/spring/summer/fall/rainy/dry season (or even “… like this one”)
  5. regardless of the weather being hot/cold/dry/wet, farmers will demand compensation from the government (because “the weather had been bad for the crops” or the planting timetable or somesuch nonsense)
  6. there being no farmers in Hong Kong, people demand the government put a cap on the stamp duty payable for forex or property speculation


OUR hopeless esteemed and hapless highly efficient (ex-Royal) Hong Kong Observatory (they meant ‘Meteorological Office’) never learnt the first principle of public announcements, which is:—

  • Use NATIVE speakers for public announcements and emergency broadcasts.

Our weather and other public broadcasts are trilingual (Cantonese, English and Mandarin, in that order). Before the handover to Chinese rule in 1997, they were in Cantonese and English.

ur engrish maek hard to unnerstand ur chineez

My gripe with our weather reports is that the language used is horrendous. Indeed, they are often delivered in stilted Chinese and highly mispronounced English — often by a chief scientific officer (or some senior one) from the met office, no less.

Similarly, other public announcements are laid onto us by some hoary-haired civil servant with armour-plated eyeglasses wearing a crusty old two-piece suit reminiscent of 1960s British soap opera.

The English-language part is often especially bad — jerky, roundabout, often with a pseudo-British plummy accent, as if it were broadcast through the space/time continuum from Victorian times using Marconi diode equipment.

You would’ve thought the authorities have long learnt things by now — what with already our tropical cyclones Doksuri in June and Vicente in July (which went up to Beaufort Force 12).

This is why airports worldwide train air/sea traffic controllers to speak in a flowing, unaccented voice. When you’re piloting an aircraft at 30,000 feet or steering a vessel at 35 knots and about to ram into some shite, you don’t want to waste time figuring out what the disembodied voice on the other end of the headphones is yapping about.



Right now (5.19pm) it’s 36°C/97°F in sunny, blue-sky Hong Kong.

Elsewhere in normal places:—

  • 14°C / 57°F (clear) in Sydney
  • 16°C / 61°F (scattered clouds) in London
  • 17°C / 63°F (clear) in Los Angeles
  • 18°C / 64°F (sunny) in Paris
  • 21°C / 70°F (partly cloudy) in Rio de Janeiro
  • 22°C / 71°F (clear) in New York City
  • 25°C / 77°F (scattered clouds) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • 26°C / 79°F (clear) in Rome
  • 30°C / 86°F (haze) in Cairo (al-Qāhira, literally The Vanquisher), Egypt
  • 31°C / 88°F (mostly cloudy) in Singapore
  • 32°C / 89°F (clear) in Dallas, Texas
  • 33°C / 92°F (clear) in Tokyo
  • 36°C / 97°F in Hong Kong
  • 37°C / 98.6°F is normal human body temperature

You just wouldn’t think Hong Kong is six degrees centigrade hotter than Cairo, would you?


If it’s going to be anything like this tomorrow, I’ll post some interesting facts about temperature that the government doesn’t want you to know about.

Read my famous 10-part mega-feature about air conditioners in the meantime:—

Air-conditioning myths exploded (Part 1) | 15 Sep 2011 | 10 parts



IT most certainly feels like the end of days for me, so I’ll give you these as well:—

Biblical places

  • 29°C / 84°F (clear) in Aleppo, northern Syria
  • 31°C / 88°F (clear) in Beirut, Lebanon
  • 32°C / 90°F (haze) in Jerusalem, Israel
  • 32°C / 90°F (sunny) in Caesarea (Kaysaria), Israel
  • 33°C / 92°F (clear) in Jericho (Ariha) in West Bank, Jordan
  • 35°C / 96°F (clear) in Shiloh (Khirbet Seilun), Samaria (in Israeli West Bank)*
  • 39°C / 102°F in sunshiny Armageddon**
  • 39°C / 102°F (clear) in Halabja, Iraq
  • 51°C / 124°F (clear) in Ur (Tell el-Muqayyar), Dhi Qar Governorate, southern Iraq***

* Shiloh weather website (Hebrew only): [CLICK HERE]

** More normally called Tel Megiddo (Arabic: Tell al-Mutesellim) in the north of Israel.

*** Birthplace of Abram (Abraham/Ibrahim) in 2000 BC (Middle Bronze Age).

Only 3 degrees hotter
Armageddon a.k.a. Har Megiddo (lit. Mount Megiddo) in 2008

Address (Hebrew/Arabic):
Hebrew: מגידוTel Megiddo / Arabic: المجیدوTell al-Mutesellim
Megiddo Junction /צומת מגידו‎
Highways 65 and 66
AFULA City / עֲפוּלָה‎‎ ’Afula /العفولة‎ al-ʻAfūlaḧ
Jezreel Valley / עמק יזרעאל‎ Emek Yizre’el / مرج ابن عامر‎ Marǧ ibn-Amer
Lower Galilee / הגליל התחתון‎ HaGalil HaTahton / الجليل الأسفل ‎ Al-Jaleel al-Asfal
North District / מחוז הצפון‎ Mehoz Hatzafon / منطقة الشمال‎

Armageddon’s official website: [Megiddo Regional Council] (Hebrew only)

There is a nearby kibbutz (Kibbutz Ramat HaShofet) nearby that operates a bed-and-breakfast guesthouse (air-conditioned, Wifi, etc) and convenience stores. Don’t bring US-voltage clothes irons or hairdryers because they won’t work overseas (even with plug converters).

Now you can show off with that and how Hong Kong is only three degrees centigrade lower than the place of the Apocalypse.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Very Hot logo via Hong Kong government’s EPD | ‘Headache Gives British Woman…’ via Newser | Tel Megiddo in 2008 by Sandik via Wikipedia.

4 Responses to “Weather, roasted alive”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    Balmy. Today we hit 44.4°C/112°F as the central heat dome for the US.


  2. It feels like I’m cooked every day here in Hong Kong already. Can’t imagine 44 degrees. But the humidity at your place isn’t as high as 96% in HK, is it?


  3. Ed Hurst said

    A part of the heat reflects a drought, so the humidity is unusually low for us.


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