Italian-language version of weather forecast website launched today
28 August 2009
The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) today (28 August) announced that the Italian-language version of the award-winning website for official city weather forecasts of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) was launched in collaboration with the Servizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare Italiana, the national weather service of Italy.
The new website (http://wwis.meteoam.it/) gives Italian-speaking communities all over the world the latest official weather forecasts of the world's cities issued by respective National Meteorological Services (NMSs). It is the Italian version of the World Weather Information Service (WWIS) website pioneered and operated by the HKO in the English language since 2001. With the launch of the Italian version, WWIS is now serving the international public in eight different languages.
Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Dr Lee Boon-ying, said technical personnel from the HKO and Servizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare Italiana worked closely during the development of the Italian-language website. "It is exciting that countries are coming forward to join this WMO project and set up the world weather website in different languages. As travel becomes rather common these days, people will find it helpful to access weather information of the cities they plan to visit, and more importantly, in their own languages. It is an excellent example of how technology benefits the international community." Dr Lee said.
Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong, Mr Alessandro De Pedys, congratulated the HKO andServizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare Italiana for jointly bringing the Italian-language version of the WWIS website into operation. He said, "This website in Italian is an excellent example of how co-operation between Hong Kong and Italy can contribute actively to facilitate communication among people throughout the world. I am sure that this website for weather information will be widely used by our countrymen and other Italian-speaking people."
The WWIS website offers authoritative and reliable weather information to all Internet users, who are often bewildered by the diversity of weather forecasts for overseas cities presented by a wide array of service providers often without in-depth understanding of the weather there.
In 2000, the WMO decided to establish an official website on world weather and tasked the HKO to develop and operate this website. The WWIS website (http://worldweather.wmo.int) is the world's first and only website for official city forecasts issued by the respective native weather forecasters. By 2002, it included weather forecasts for about 400 cities. The WWIS was declared fully operational by the WMO in 2005. In 2008, the WWIS website won the prestigious Stockholm Challenge Award in the Environment Category.
Presently, 122 WMO members supply to the website official weather forecasts for 1,321 cities. The website also contains climatological data for the cities, which are useful for travel planning months in advance. Users can also visit the websites of individual NMSs to find out more about the respective countries by following the links on the website. The WWIS now registers on average more than 10 million page visits every month.
For visitors to the HKO website (http://www.weather.gov.hk/contente.htm), they may reach the Italian version of WWIS by clicking the "Global Official Forecasts" icon and then choose the "ITALIANO" button. Alternatively, visitors may go directly to the WWIS website in English (http://worldweather.wmo.int/) and click "ITALIANO".