The Hong Kong Observatory organized a "Training Programme on Automated Weather Observing Systems" for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) from 25 November to 13 December 2002. This is the third time that Hong Kong organizes similar training courses for overseas meteorologists.
Out of the many applications received, nine meteorologists from Egypt, Malaysia, Morocco, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen, were selected to attend the training programme.
The objective of the training programme is to promote the setting up of automated weather observing systems among meteorological services of other countries. Participants of the programme will take a leading role in developing these systems after returning to their home countries.
One of the trainees, Mr. Boujemać Bourhim from Morocco said, "The training programme focuses on practical aspects. The Hong Kong Observatory has ample experience in the use of automatic weather observing systems. I learn a lot both from the course and from interactions with Observatory staff. The knowledge acquired will be very useful in solving the problems I encounter in developing automated weather observing systems in Morocco." Another participant from Vietnam, Mr. Dao Hong Chau added, "I am extremely impressed by the application of technology in the Hong Kong Observatory and the positive attitude of its staff."
Automatic weather stations have been set up by the Observatory for collecting data to support local weather forecasting since 1984. Over the years, the Observatory has kept updating its technology. Its effort in this area is viewed as a model among WMO Members. Currently, weather information gathered from local automatic weather stations is made available real-time on the Internet. The public can access the information and make decisions best suited to their specific circumstances. A detailed and timely weather information service like this is among the best in the world. The running of the WMO training programme in Hong Kong reflects the recognition of the achievement of the Hong Kong Observatory by the international meteorological community.