You've got hail: Hong Kong sees hailstones 'as big as a 50 cent coin' as severe thunderstorms sweep through city

A member of the Tseung Kwan O Facebook group ‘TKOfriend’ shows a hailstone that fell in the area at about 1pm.
PHOTO: Facebook

Hail was seen in Hong Kong for the first time in five years on Thursday, as severe thunderstorms expected to last through the afternoon swept through some areas of the city.

Residents of Yung Ming Court in Tseung Kwan O saw hail the size of 50 cent coins, according to members of the local Facebook group “TKOfriend”, with one video posted showing a mix of hail and rain hitting windows with a loud popping sound.

A resident of Heng Mei Deng Village in Sai Kung separately confirmed to the Post that hail had fallen in that area at about 1.30pm.

The Hong Kong Observatory noted the reports in a weather warning issued about half an hour after the hail was first spotted in Tseung Kwan O at 1pm.

“Severe squally thunderstorms are expected to occur over Hong Kong … Hail may continue to affect Hong Kong shortly,” the Observatory said.

Members of the public were advised to stay indoors or seek shelter if they were doing outdoor activities, avoid standing on high ground and keep away from highly conductive objects, trees or masts.

At noon, severe tropical storm Chanthu was centred about 340km south-southwest of Jeju Island and forecast to move northeast at about 15km/h towards the Korean peninsula and Japan.

The weather in Hong Kong was forecast to be mainly cloudy with occasional showers and severe squally thunderstorms in some areas.

Hail was last reported in Hong Kong in July 2016, when Tropical Storm Nida hit the city.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.