The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) announced today (12 September) that an official website on global city weather forecasts was launched in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INM) of Spain under the umbrella of the World Meterological Organization (WMO).
The new website, ( http://wwis.inm.es/ ) offers access to the latest official forecasts for the world's cities issued by the National Meteorological Services (NMSs). It is operated by the INM under the auspices of the WMO. The website is the Spanish version of the English-language World Weather Information Service (WWIS) website operated by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) for almost 5 years.
Mr Lam Chiu-ying, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, said that the technical personnel of both the HKO and INM were in close contact during the development of the Spanish website. "The launch of this website reflects the close cooperation between us in working towards the goal of providing quality services to a wider audience. It is an excellent example of how exchange of technology can benefit the international community," Mr Lam said.
"We are excited to be associated with this project, which will enable more than 350 million Spanish-speaking people both in Spain and all over the world to obtain official and accurate weather information in a convenient manner," he said.
Mr. Camilo Alonso, Consul General of Spain in Hong Kong congratulated the HKO and INM for jointly bringing the Spanish version of the WWIS website into operation. He said, "This website in Spanish is an excellent example of how Hong Kong contributes actively, as a cosmopolitan city that it is, to communicate to people throughout the world. The Hispanic world embraces 20 nations and their language is the second international language in the world."
Mr. Alonso said, "Weather knows no boundaries. The phenomenon known as 'El Nino' taking place in a water stream in the distant equatorial Pacific could for example influence the evolution of the monsoon in Asia. Climatic changes demand meteorological forecasts as a step in establishing patterns, in foreseeing or in alleviating its mounting emergencies. There seems to be a popular perception (if not yet an overwhelming scientific evidence), that these changes are actually occurring, and that they pose real challenges, no matter how certain people try to postpone or downgrade the crucial need to control all kinds of pollution. So with this new service in Spanish language we are really sharing a very significant information that can be useful to scientists, to politicians, as well as, more practically, to travelers or to households with family members abroad. From now on, HKO and INM will be exchanging official weather information every hour of the day. I am glad to know that we can now check the weather forecast back home anytime with the new WWIS website in Spanish."
The new website will provide the public, the international community and the media with concise, accurate and up-to-date weather information in Spanish. It offers authoritative and reliable weather information to all Internet users, who are often bewildered by the diversity of information presented by a wide array of service providers not related to the meteorological community.
All weather information is provided by the respective NMSs, which collectively operate the official worldwide weather observing network with proper forecasting procedures coordinated by the WMO. Forecasts for 1110 cities of 112 WMO members are regularly updated, while climatological data are given for 1154 cities of 158 members.
Users can also follow the links to visit the websites of the NMSs to search for further information.
The public can click the "Spanish version" icon on the HKO WWIS website (http://worldweather.wmo.int/) to view the contents.