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Welcome New Recruits of Voluntary Observing Ships

24 September 2009

Observational data are vital to weather analysis and forecasting. As weather observations are invariably sparse at sea, observations taken by deck officers on ships are particularly valuable. Apart from use in the preparation of marine weather forecasts and warnings, weather data from ships are ingested in numerical weather prediction models, and used in various atmospheric, climatological and oceanographic studies.

The Hong Kong Observatory operates a Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Scheme under auspice of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Under this Scheme, voluntary ships are employed to take weather observations whilst at sea. During the summer of 2009, a total of 6 ships joined the fleet of HKVOS making a fleet size of 46. The names of these ships are:

  1. Ever Apex
  2. OOCL Brisbane
  3. Superstar Aquarius
  4. Uni-Arise
  5. Uni-Pacific
  6. Uni-Probity

We thank the deck officers and shipping companies for their support to the HKVOS. Ship observational data contribute not only to the safety of ships at sea and improvement in accuracy of weather prediction, but also to the well-being of mankind via various scientific studies.

OOCL Brisbane
Observatory staff (left) demonstrated to the crew of a voluntary observing ship the operation of barograph.