International Award for Website Operated by Hong Kong Observatory on behalf of UN World Meteorological Organization
(23 May 2008)
The World Weather Information Service (WWIS) website (http://worldweather.wmo.int/ ) operated by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) on behalf of the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has won the prestigious Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 in the Environment category. Dr CM Tam of the Hong Kong Observatory received the award in the City Hall of Stockholm last night local time (22 May 2008), on behalf of HKO and WMO.
The HKO was the lead organization in setting up and running the WWIS website in English. Everyday it receives official forecasts from the National Meteorological Services (NMS) around the world and processes the data for display in the website.
The jury commended the project as follows: "They have a strong vision, global objectives, a robust sustainability model and demonstrate information exchange between national and international organizations sharing weather data."
The WWIS is an international cooperation project of the WMO, and serves as a central portal for official weather information worldwide. It contains official weather forecasts and climatological data produced by the official NMS's of countries and territories around the world.
The website enables the public worldwide to have easy access to authoritative weather forecasts for cities in all corners of the globe, issued by the official meteorological services. They are the authorities responsible for making the meteorological observations locally and so know best the weather at those locations.
Mr Gerald Fleming, Chair of the Open Programme Area Group on Public Weather Services with WMO remarked that "The WWIS has now received a powerful endorsement from those whom it was set up to serve - the user community. There can be no higher commendation."
The website also enables NMS's in developing countries, including those in the Least Developing Countries, to increase their international visibility, by making their forecasts readily available to the international community.
Presently, 118 participating countries/territories provide weather forecasts for 1,263 cities. Apart from the English version operated by HKO, versions in five other languages are operated by partners in China (Chinese), France (French), Oman (Arabic), Portugal (Portuguese) and Spain (Spanish). HKO also serves as the data hub, receiving data from NMS's and redistributing them to the hosts of the websites in the other five languages.
The Stockholm Challenge (http://www.stockholmchallenge.se/ ) is an international competition held once every two years. The first competition was held in 1994 at Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The objective of the contest is to promote the use of information and communication technology applications for development to help counteract social and economic disadvantage, if any. The WWIS is among the 145 Finalists in the six different categories of the Award.
The World Weather Information Service Website
Dr CM Tam of the HKO received the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 on behalf of the HKO and WMO at the City Hall of Stockholm.
Dr CM Tam of the HKO with the Trophy and Mr E Mardle,
Chairman of the Grand Jury of Stockholm Challenge
after the awards presentation ceremony at Stockholm.
Participants from Hong Kong in the awards ceremony.