On this year’s World Meteorological Day (23 March), the Director of the Observatory, Mr Chan Pak-wai, hosted a press briefing to recap the weather in 2022, present the weather outlook for 2023, and provide the following summary of the Observatory’s latest developments:
At the beginning of the year, the Hong Kong Observatory enhanced a number of services, including by the provision of real-time relative humidity information from seven automatic weather stations, to improve regional weather information services; and the addition of a map layer showing forecast traffic speeds in the “MyObservatory” mobile app to help users better understand the weather’s impact on road traffic. In addition, the Observatory has been studying health impacts of extremely hot weather together with universities and partners, with a view to strengthening the very hot weather warning service – such as by introducing new special weather tips to alert the public regarding extremely high temperatures and remind them about the corresponding precautionary measures.
Regarding earthquake and tsunami monitoring, at the invitation of the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center of the Ministry of Natural Resources in Beijing, the Observatory has set up the Backup South China Sea Tsunami Advisory Center (Hong Kong) in its Central Forecasting Office, which officially commenced operations on 29 March this year. Also, the Observatory has enhanced earthquake reports by including information on focal depths.
Regarding public education, the Observatory revamped the website’s Educational Resources section, and introduced infographics about hazardous weather and phenomena on educational webpages. It also plans to resume the face-to-face Public Course on Weather Observation at the end of this year, to provide interested members of the public with basic knowledge of weather observation and its applications. In addition, the Observatory plans to organise a Tropical Cyclone Name Collection Campaign this year, inviting members of the public to propose and vote on tropical cyclone names with Hong Kong characteristics.
This year marks the 140th anniversary of the Observatory. A series of activities has been planned for celebrating the anniversary, including a dedicated website, “Hong Kong Observatory 140th Anniversary”, and with an anniversary book "Stories Under Passing Storms" to be published later this year.
Director Chan Pak-wai (centre), together with Assistant Director (Radiation Monitoring and Assessment) Lee Lap-shun (second left), Assistant Director (Development, Research and Administration) Sandy Song Man-kuen (second from right), Acting Assistant Director (Aviation Weather Services) Chan Sai-tick (left), and Acting Assistant Director (Forecasting and Warning Services) Cheng Yuen-chung (right), presiding over the press briefing to report on the Observatory’s latest developments