The Hong Kong Observatory is holding a training course this week to teach meteorologists from around the world how to provide weather services via the internet.
The course, which started yesterday, will run until Friday. The meteorologists come from different countries in Europe, Africa and Asia - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Laos, Latvia, Malaysia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The course, "Provision of Weather Service via the Internet", is running under the Voluntary Co-operation Programme of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). This is the fifth time that the observatory has run training courses for the WMO, indicating recognition of its work by the international meteorological community. The current course was first held in December 2003 and is being repeated to meet the overwhelming demand from a number of countries.
The Hong Kong Observatory has been providing weather services on the Internet since 1996. Apart from being one of the most popular government websites in Hong Kong, the observatory website also ranks among the
best in the world in terms of content and use of technology.
In 2000, the WMO tasked the observatory with developing and operating two websites on world weather, namely the "World Weather Information Service" and "Severe Weather Information Centre" websites, in
collaboration with national meteorological services around the world. These two authoritative websites have won international acclaim.
"The training course focuses on practical aspects. I have benefited considerably from the Hong Kong Observatory's experience in the development and management of weather information websites. The
knowledge is very useful and I will use it to develop our own website in Tanzania," said Mr Geofrid Evarist Chikojo, a participant from Tanzania.
As well as training meteorologists how to provide weather information via the Internet, the course will also show them how to use the diverse weather information available online. Participants are expected to contribute to the
development of their own Internet weather services on return to their home countries. This will further enhance the exchange of meteorological information around the world.
Participants of the training course having hands-on experience during a practical session at the Hong Kong Observatory