HKO signs MoU with WMO to strengthen meteorological co-operation (with photos)

     The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), Mr Shun Chi-ming, today (October 2) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the HKO with the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Professor Petteri Taalas, to further strengthen meteorological co-operation.

     Under the MoU, the HKO will support the WMO's initiative in establishing the Global Multi-hazard Alert System (GMAS). In this connection, the HKO has revamped the Severe Weather Information Centre website (SWIC 2.0) and is also updating the World Weather Information Service website to aggregate authoritative warning signals related to high-impact weather, water and climate events issued by official weather service organisations around the world. Members of the public and decision makers of various organisations, including international and humanitarian agencies, can make use of the information on the websites to keep an overview of natural disasters on a global basis and take appropriate disaster risk reduction measures.

     Mr Shun said, "As a member of the WMO, Hong Kong, China, will play a more significant role in fostering regional and international meteorological co-operation to ensure public safety and reduce disaster risk. The HKO is very pleased to collaborate with the WMO in establishing the GMAS to help minimise loss due to natural disasters."

     Professor Taalas said, "The signing of the MoU between the HKO and the WMO will further strengthen our co-operation and significantly contributes to the global meteorological information services. I am very happy to see the launch of the SWIC 2.0 website today. This marks an important step in taking forward the GMAS initiative, contributing to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction."

     Mr Shun and Professor Taalas officiated at the launch ceremony of the SWIC 2.0 website and the opening ceremony of the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Nowcasting after signing the MoU. The HKO was designated as an RSMC for Nowcasting for the Asian region at the 70th Session of the Executive Council of the WMO in June this year. It is a recognition of the significant role the HKO plays in applying nowcasting techniques in predicting severe weather. As the RSMC for Nowcasting for the Asian region, the HKO will provide meteorological organisations in the region with products and techniques related to nowcasting of high-impact weather events.

Ends/Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Issued at HKT 20:03