Friday, 25 July 2014

Hong Kong Air Quality

Here's a quickie for those with any doubt about the varying air quality that you can encounter here in Hong Kong. For purposes of comparison I took a couple of snaps out of my window a while back at different times of the year and although it's a little bit of a generalisation, they do show the differing quality of air at different times of the year.

The first photo was taken at the end of the summertime - in early September - when the local winds are still blowing in from the southeast bringing in lots of fresh air in from the general direction of the Pacific ocean.

Pretty good eh? Nice clear skies and a lovely clear view all the way over to the Peak viewing tower 8 kilometres away (just to the right of the ICC). This is pretty much the standard view I get during the summertime from about the end of May to the start of September. It's great and puts me in the best of moods :-). However, summertime isn't always quite as blissful as this and various factors - most notably the advance of typhoons - tend to stir up the skies a bit. When a typhoon is close by (and by close I mean it may actually be 1000km away) it tends to swing all the bad air over from China and the smog can get quite bad.

But in general, if you want clear skies and reasonably fresh air (we can never get rid of the local vehicle pollution, after all) then the summertime is the best time. You just have to be able to put up with the heat and perhaps worse, the humidity. Compare it to the very typical non-summer scene below.

Yup, pretty grim! This is the same view, all I have done is zoom in a bit otherwise I wasn't sure I could get the details. When I say non-summer days I mean anytime between around October all the way through to April. Again, I am simplifying things a little bit but the fact remains that outside of the summertime, the chance of your day looking like this is quite high :-(

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