The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) organized a "Training Programme on Automated Weather Observing Systems" under the Voluntary Co-operation Programme (VCP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) from 5 to 23 November 2001.
The 3-week training programme aimed to promote a better understanding of the technical aspects in the development and implementation of automated weather observing systems for WMO Members. Participants of the programme will take a leading role in developing these systems after returning to their home countries.
There was overwhelming demand for the training programme and a total of twenty applications were received. Five applicants from Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand were selected to attend.
One of the participants of the programme, Mr Nuwan Kumarasinghe from Sri Lanka said, " The knowledge acquired from the training programme will be very useful for me in developing the automated weather observing system in Sri Lanka. I am most interested in the lightning protection measures, as the systems in Sri Lanka are very much prone to lightning strikes." Another participant from Mongolia, Mr Tseveenchimed Ganbold added, " I am extremely impressed with the application of advanced yet affordable technology in the Hong Kong Observatory. This is an excellent chance for keeping in touch with state-of-the-art development on automated weather observing systems."
The VCP is a technical co-operation programme conducted under the auspices of the WMO to facilitate its Members to develop the capability to implement WMO's scientific and technical programmes. It is maintained by voluntary contribution from WMO Members in the form of financial contributions or offers of equipment and services.
This is the second time that Hong Kong contributes to the VCP, the first being a training programme on marine meteorology in 2000. Contribution to the VCP by the HKO is a small step towards achieving the long-term goal of perfecting global weather observation which has a direct impact on the accuracy of weather forecasts. It fosters technical cooperation and exchange with other WMO Members, opens up channels for possible collaboration and sharing of experience in future. It also enhances the image of Hong Kong in the international community.