Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Lam Chiu-ying, and Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong, Mr Shigekazu Sato, today (August 30) officiated at the ceremony to commemorate the opening of a new satellite reception system.
The system receives cloud images from Japan's new-generation Geostationary Meteorological Satellite - the Multi-functional Transport Satellite-1R. The first Geostationary Meteorological Satellite for the Asia and Pacific regions was operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), starting 30 years ago in 1977.
The Observatory also enhanced the provision of satellite images on its website. The coverage of satellite images is extended to encompass a larger area over the western north Pacific. All tropical cyclones mentioned in the Observatory's weather forecast bulletins can be seen in the satellite images on the following webpage:
Mr Lam said the reception of cloud images from Japan's Geostationary Meteorological Satellite some three decades ago revolutionised the approach to weather forecasting. "Through the cloud images, the weather forecasters gain a global view from space of the location and evolution of weather systems, especially typhoons. These images are now indispensable for our weather warning services," he said.
Co-operation between the Observatory and JMA dated back to half a century ago, Mr Lam said, starting with instrument inter-comparison and weather information exchange through a point-to-point circuit linking the Observatory and JMA. "Now it encompasses a wider range of activities, of which meteorological satellites and numerical weather prediction are the most outstanding examples. We are grateful to JMA for its persistent and generous support through the years."
Mr Sato said he was very glad to officiate at the ceremony and hear about the long history of close co-operation between meteorologists in Hong Kong and Japan. "This long-term relationship is indeed a model for cooperation between meteorological services worldwide," Mr Sato said.
In a message from Japan, Director-General of JMA, Dr Tetsu Hiraki, said it was a great pleasure and honour that the Japan Meteorological Agency has been co-operating with the Hong Kong Observatory to contribute to meteorological services in the world. It was his sincere hope that the friendly co-operation would contribute to enhancing meteorological services of the two services for disaster risk reduction and socio-economic benefit.
Dr Hiraki is a long-time friend of the Observatory. He visited Hong Kong in 1990 to deliver expert lectures on meteorological telecommunications.