The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), Guangdong Meteorological Bureau (GMB) and Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) jointly announced the launch of the Yangjiang lightning sensor station at Yangjiang Comprehensive Meteorological Observing Station, Guangdong Province today (5 September).
HKO, GMB and SMG jointly established the Lightning Location Network over the Pearl River Estuary region since 2005. With Yangjiang station comes into operation, the network now comprises seven stations, spatial coverage has more than doubled. This helps to enhance the effective range and reliability of lightning detection.
The new Yangjiang lightning sensor station is located over the coastal areas of western Guangdong, about 230 kilometres away from Hong Kong. It can provide more lightning information further to the west of Hong Kong, which is useful for monitoring thunderstorms moving from west to east towards the Pearl River Estuary.
At the opening ceremony, Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Lai Sau-tak, said, "Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region are prone to thunderstorms. The establishment of this Lightning Location Network is a successful example of cooperation in disaster prevention and mitigation among the meteorological authorities of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao. With the growing popularity of mobile applications in recent years, the Observatory has been providing regional lightning information service through the mobile application 'MyObservatory'. Members of the public can conveniently get hold of the latest lightning situation anywhere anytime, allowing those engaged in outdoor work or activities to make timely arrangements. As extreme weather events are getting more frequent due to climate change, such services are expected to become even more essential."
Deputy Director of the Guangdong Meteorological Bureau, Mr Zhuang Xudong, said, "Following the establishment and operation of the Yangjiang station, the Guangdong-HongKong-Macao lightning monitoring network has been further improved. It can capture the locations, types, movement speeds and development trends of lightning strokes over the Pearl River Delta region in a timelier and more accurate manner, enabling the meteorological authorities of the three places to effectively monitor lightning activities over the Pearl River Delta region."
Acting Chief of Meteorological Division, Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau, Mr Tang Iu-man, said, "The Yangjiang lightning sensor station will further enhance the coverage of lightning activities to the west of the Pearl River Estuary and refine the accuracy of the Lightning Location Network, providing an even more solid foundation in nowcasting severe convective weather systems that move from west to east during the early flood season."
The latest lightning location information detected by the Lightning Location Network is accessible through the Observatory's web page (http://www.weather.gov.hk/wxinfo/llis/index.htm) and the mobile application "MyObservatory". For details on how to download "MyObservatory", please visit http://www.weather.gov.hk/myobservatory_e.htm.