Globally, despite the cooling influence of a weak-to-moderate La Nina at the beginning of the year, 2012 is still an unusually warm year in many parts of the world. In Hong Kong, 2012 started with significantly colder than normal weather in January and February which is mainly due to the stronger northeast monsoon over southern China usually in the presence of La Nina. However, with La Nina fading out in spring, the below-normal temperature was compensated by the exceptionally warm weather in April, May and August in 2012. Overall, the average temperature of 2012 was 23.4 degrees, 0.1 degrees above the 1981-2010 normal figure of 23.3 degrees (which is 0.4 degrees above the 1961-1990 normal figure of 23.0 degrees when we consider an earlier timeframe) and ranking the 12th highest since record began in 1885.
For extreme temperatures, there were 21 Very Hot Days, 23 Hot Nights and 21 Cold Days in 2012, about 11, 5 and 4 days more than the 1981-2010 normal figures respectively. The maximum temperature recorded at the Hong Kong Observatory in 2012 was 34.5 degrees on 28 August. During the passage of an intense cold surge of the winter monsoon, the minimum temperature of the year of 7.1 degrees was recorded on 31 December. This was also the third coldest New Year's Eve on record. >> More