Acting Senior Scientific Officer of the Hong Kong Observatory, Yeung Hon Yin, participated in the Meeting of the Regional Sub-project Management Team for Southeast Asia under the Severe Weather Forecast Demonstration Project (SWFDP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which was held in Ha Noi, Vietnam during 20-23 November 2017. Since the inception of the project in 2010, the Observatory has been playing an active role and is responsible for providing training and technical support. During the meeting, Yeung not only reported the latest work of the Observatory in the project, but also introduced in particular “SWIRLS”, the in-house developed nowcasting system of the Observatory that has been released to other meteorological organizations for their use. The meeting agreed that nowcasting is an indispensable component in the forecast/warning process for severe weather and noted the potential value of “SWIRLS” for SWFDP. Also conducted at the same venue was the WMO Meeting of the Southeast Asia Flash Flood Guidance System, with a joint session for both meetings to interact. Participants of the latter meeting expressed immense interest in “SWIRLS” after learning about its nowcasting capabilities.
SWFDP aims to demonstrate the usefulness of numerical weather prediction products in improving severe weather forecasting services and enhancing the public weather services of developing countries. The participating countries in the SWFDP Regional Sub-project for Southeast Asia are Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Apart from Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts also joined forces to provide numerical prediction products and technical support.