Hong Kongers and tourists have been warned to brace for rain and chilly weather when the New Year approaches.

New Year carnivals and fireworks in the city could face a dampener as an intense winter monsoon is expected to sweep southward to the coastline of China’s Guangdong province, as well as Hong Kong when people start their countdown to 2019.

Friday will see sunny intervals but clouds and rainy weather will also set in and persist throughout the final days of 2018 as well as a good part of the first week of 2019.

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The Grand Buddha statue is seen through icicles on Hong Kong’s Lantau island. Photo: Facebook

Residents have been told to get their winter gear ready as a high pressure system will bring gales – occasionally force 6 offshore – and drag the mercury down as low as 8 degrees Celsius  (46 Fahrenheit) in Hong Kong’s New Territories on December 31, after an unusually warm Christmas when temperature soared to 27 degrees in urban areas.

People should remember to bring an umbrella and raincoats if they plan to brave the cold and venture down to the Victoria Harbor waterfront to watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

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The Hong Kong Observatory’s nine-day weather forecast and extended outlook of minimum temperatures.