Hong Kong Observatory leads changes in Typhoon Committee (with photos)

     Twelve of the Typhoon Committee's 14 Members attended the 45th Session of the Typhoon Committee in Hong Kong and completed the four-day deliberations on February 1.

     The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), Mr Shun Chi-ming, succeeded the Deputy Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration, Ms Jiao Meiyan, as the Chairperson of the Typhoon Committee and presided at the Session. Mr Shun and Ms Jiao were instrumental in driving reform in the effective governance of the Committee in the past couple of years, with fruitful results already evident at the Hong Kong Session. The Assistant Director of the HKO, Mr Edwin Lai, was elected as the Chairperson of the Advisory Working Group of the Committee to co-ordinate the implementation and action plans of the projects of the four working groups of the Committee.

     The Government Flying Service (GFS) was awarded the Dr Roman L Kintanar Award at the Session. This award is presented annually to institutes and organisations in recognition of their dedicated effort in mitigating the impacts and risks of disasters caused by tropical cyclones. The award was presented to the GFS to recognise its commitment and outstanding work in collecting crucial meteorological data in the vicinity of tropical cyclones over the South China Sea. Considering the operational and research value of this initiative led by the HKO, the Committee will co-operate with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) World Weather Research Programme to explore the feasibility of organising a purposely planned field experiment over the region in the next couple of years.

     With a concentration of rapid economic and population growth in coastal areas, vulnerability to tropical cyclone-related hazards such as extreme winds, torrential rain, flash flooding and storm surges has substantially increased. The Committee noted with appreciation the timely publication of "The Second Assessment Report on the Influence of Climate Change on Tropical Cyclones in the Typhoon Committee Region", and suggested the Assessment Report be forwarded to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a reference for its latest assessment work. The Assessment Report summarises the results and findings from research conducted by Typhoon Committee experts on the long-term trends of tropical cyclone activity in the region. The Senior Scientific Officer of the HKO, Dr Lee Tsz-cheung, contributed to the Second Assessment Report as one of the authors.

     For more information about the Typhoon Committee and associated activities, please visit www.typhooncommittee.org.

Ends/Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:04