I’ve heard of a dry cough, a dry county and a dry alcoholic. Now we have the dry typhoon. Kalmaegi (Korean for ‘day off’) swept in out of the Pacific over the weekend, wreaked the usual mayhem upon the Philippines, then made a determined beeline to Hainan, thus brushing Hong Kong and giving us the year’s first number 8 signal.
When we first felt the effects yesterday afternoon, there were some ‘squally showers’, meaning that the rain was fairly moderate but zipped past horizontally. Throughout much of the night – with a slightly lame, half-hour downpour at perhaps midnight – the HK Observatory’s ‘local forecast’ app predicted ‘insignificant’ precipitation most of the time. And sure enough, the usual storms we expect with a typhoon never came. The weather radar, which shows cloudbursts in real time, had Hong Kong Island shielded by an invisible protective bubble. Kowloon, Shatin and other, benighted, areas were less fortunate.
The HK Observatory played it by the book, giving everyone a few hours extra in bed this morning, despite the lack of any serious weather, at least on land. A quick stroll around at 9pm revealed confused tourists plodding the garbage-strewn, slightly damp but otherwise empty streets, like neutron-bomb survivors wondering if any other form of life made it (not counting 7-Eleven staff).
I did not escape unscathed, however. At least three times during the night, an invisible psychopath tried to break my front door in, while weird ghouls groaned around the apartment and beyond. It was a sudden shift in external atmospheric pressure, sucking the air out of the building.
At least, I think it was.
Now it’s actually raining a bit. They’re not seriously expecting everyone to go to work, are they?