The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) has been commended by an expert team under Public Weather Services Programme of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which has just finished their one week meeting in Hong Kong, for its outstanding work in developing and hosting the WMO website on official world weather information.
The WMO decided in year 2000 to set up a website to provide authentic and official world weather information to the international public. The task was entrusted to the HKO in view of its expertise in website management and its well established experience in providing public weather services.
Mrs. Haleh Kootval who represented the Secretary-General of WMO at the meeting said, "The HKO has done a wonderful job in setting up the website and organizing the co-operative effort of the many countries involved. The website is of great importance to the WMO as a means to enable the global community to obtain official weather information of cities around the world from the meteorological authorities which operate the network of standard weather observing stations regulated by the WMO. It also helps build visibility for the participating WMO Members especially developing countries."
Mr. C.Y. Lam, acting Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, said, "The Hong Kong Observatory is honoured to develop and host the website. More importantly, it shows that our commitment and our ability to deliver excellent public weather services with affordable technology are recognized internationally."
Operational trial of stage one of the website http://www.worldweather.org was launched on 8 December 2001. It currently gives the official climatological information of 348 key cities in 149 WMO Member countries and territories. City forecasts are being introduced in stage two of the website. The website now shows the forecasts from seven WMO Members. The number will grow significantly in year 2002.
The WMO expert team met in Hong Kong between 25 February and 1 March. It reviewed the progress in the trial operation of the website and attendant issues. It also developed international guidelines on cross-border exchanges of public weather warnings as well as on the promotion of the understanding and use of public weather warnings. Mr. C.Y. Lam of the HKO is the chairman of the expert team.