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Hong Kong Community Weather Information Network

   Written by: TAM Kwong-hung



         In recent years, more and more weather enthusiasts and schools are setting up their weather stations and have the weather information posted on the Internet. Nevertheless, there are various degrees of problems with the data availability and reliability at these stations. On the other hand, there is a growing demand for weather information from the public and people even want to have weather stations set up on their doorsteps to provide them with the latest weather information. 

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          Two years ago, with its limited resources, the Observatory stepped up its efforts to improve weather services for the public through close cooperation with schools and various local communities to organize a weather information network. The aim of the network is to gather weather information from automatic weather stations of its school and community members, carry out data quality assurance and make available the weather information on the Internet. This initiative was well received by the public.  It creates a win-win situation for all partners, generates a sense of ownership among the players and helps assure the long-term sustainability and development of the programme. After about two years time and through the collaborative effort of the Observatory, the Department of Applied Physics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Joint-school Meteorological Association, the Hong Kong Community Weather Information Network (HK Co-WIN) was officially opened on 24 August 2007 (Figure 1).


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          The Department of Applied Physics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is responsible for establishing and operating the network website, as well as assisting network members in the operation of their weather stations. The Hong Kong Joint-school Meteorological Association is responsible for liaison with front-line school teachers in organising activities to promote weather education in primary and secondary schools. It also co-operates with the Department of Applied Physics in assisting school members in the installation and maintenance of automatic weather stations. The Observatory provides professional advice on the installation and maintenance of the automatic weather stations, and renders technical assistance in the setting up of the network website.  At present, the network has 41 school members and the HK Co-WIN website now provides real-time weather information on temperature, relative humidity and wind speeds recorded from its school members (Figure 2).

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         Looking ahead, weather information such as rainfall, solar radiation and UV index will be added to the website gradually.  A user interface will also be developed to allow students to download weather information recorded from different weather stations in the network for carrying out case studies and research.  Furthermore, the three parties will continue to cooperate closely in promoting weather education in Hong Kong through organizing weather related activities such as visits to weather stations (Figure 3), seminars and talks (Figure 4), and developing educational packages on weather. Schools and organizations who are interested in joining HK Co-WIN can contact Mr. Tam Kwong-hung, Scientific Officer of the Observatory, at 2926 8342 or Senior Experimental Officer, Mr. Tse Wai Ming, at 2926 8346.

Figure3a           Figure3b

Figure4

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Last revision date: <19 Dec 2012>