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Programme Areas

I. Weather Services

  1. The aim is to provide weather forecasts and issue warnings to the public, special users, the shipping community, aircraft and aviation groups in order to reduce loss of life and damage to property, and minimise disruption to economic and social activities during hazardous weather.  
  2. The Hong Kong Observatory's Central Forecasting Office and Airport Meteorological Office are responsible for the preparation and issue of weather information, forecasts and various warnings on hazardous weather to the public, shipping community and aviation groups. The Hong Kong Observatory also promotes public awareness of, and community preparedness for, natural disasters. This work involves:   
    • operating a network of mostly automated weather stations;  
    • carrying out real-time exchange of data with meteorological centres in the world;  
    • receiving meteorological satellite imageries and operating weather radar systems;  
    • analysing meteorological data and computing the future weather by numerical modelling;  
    • disseminating weather information by a diversity of means;  
    • issuing warnings on hazardous weather such as tropical cyclones, storm surges, rainstorms, landslips, flooding, thunderstorms, windshear, fire danger and extreme hot and cold conditions; and  
    • conducting public talks, interviews and training courses as well as producing publicity material on hazardous weather phenomena.  

II. Radiation Monitoring and Assessment

  1. The aim is to provide information on environmental radiation levels in Hong Kong and advise government departments on the protective action that may be necessary during nuclear emergencies.  
  2. The Hong Kong Observatory monitors ambient radiation levels in Hong Kong and conducts radiological measurements on air, soil, water and food samples. In the event of a nuclear emergency, the Observatory will notify and advice to government departments on the possible consequences in Hong Kong and recommend protective action. The Observatory organises training and exercises on radiation monitoring for other government departments involved in the Hong Kong contingency plan for nuclear emergencies. The work involves:   
    • operating a network of radiation monitoring stations, an aerial monitoring system, a radiological survey vehicle, a radiation laboratory and an emergency radiation data management system;  
    • keeping abreast of the latest development on the methodology for nuclear accident consequence assessment; and  
    • planning and participating in exercises and drills in response to nuclear emergencies.  

III. Time Standard and Geophysical Services

  1. The aim is to maintain the Hong Kong time standard and to provide geophysical, oceanographical, astronomical and climatological information to the public.  
  2. The Hong Kong Observatory maintains the Hong Kong time standard and provides time signals for the public. It prepares, collates and provides geophysical, oceanographical and climatological information required for engineering planning, design and environmental impact assessments. It also keeps abreast of research and development on international issues such as global climate change and advises government departments on likely implications. This work involves :   
    • maintaining a caesium beam clock as the Hong Kong time standard and providing time signals for radio broadcasts, automatic telephone answering service and synchronisation of clocks via Internet;  
    • operating seismological, tide and water level monitoring networks and conducting data analyses;  
    • compiling climatological and other data; and  
    • providing updates on the effects of El Nino and other longer term weather phenomena on Hong Kong.