Ice at the Peak, January 2016
Yesterday I wrote there was a strong chance of frost during the current cold spell. The Observatory website showed the temperature at the Peak had already dropped below zero this morning, so off we went to take a look.
Walking up Old Peak Road I didn't see any signs of frost or ice - til I nearly slipped over on a sheet of ice! Freezing rain had turned the steps up to the Peak Tower into a mini ice rink. As is often the case, once we knew what we were looking for we could see it everywhere. Here's ice coating the wall up to the Peak Tower:
And turning round we could see icicles hanging from the old electric substation building:
We walked on up Mount Austin Road to get higher. Fortunately the ice on the pavement there had already melted, but the plants and buildings still had a good coating. There were more icicles to be seen at the Gatekeeper's Lodge:
And ice on this nearby plant:
I wonder how much damage the ice will do to these leaves and plants?
Next to the site of the governor's residence, the patch of grass was covered with ice. As you can guess, there were plenty of other people there, taking photos and enjoying the novelty.
It seemed that everything had a coating of ice, railings, shrubs, leaves ...
And even whole trees:
I should have taken a video of the trees so you could hear the sound they made. As the wind blew and the trees flexed, they made a crackling sound as their ice casing bent and fractured. Here's a closer look showing patches of ice cracking off:
We retraced our steps back to the Peak Tower, then walked home via Harlech and Hatton Roads. I thought we'd already be too low down the hill to see ice, but we saw these along Harlech Road:
And this last set were much lower down near Pinewood Battery:
We were at the Peak around noon, when the temperature was just creeping back above zero:
Since then it has cooled down again and I can hear rain on the window, so I guess there will be even more ice now.
When I wrote yesterday, Ngong Ping was the coldest place on the Observatory's map. How cold did it get today?
We can't tell - there's a blank where the Ngong Ping reading should be! The graph for Ngong Ping says the station is under maintenance.
Great timing! Hopefully someone at Ngong Ping will take a temperature the old fashioned way, and let us know how cold it gets there.
PS To any readers on the US East Coast, I apologise for getting this excited about a few mm of ice when you've just had over two feet of snow! In my defence, this is the first time I've seen ice in Hong Kong in the twenty-something years I've lived here.