Date
26 March 2017
Four to seven typhoons will come close to Hong Kong later this year, the Observatory forecasts. Photos: Xinhua, CNSA
Four to seven typhoons will come close to Hong Kong later this year, the Observatory forecasts. Photos: Xinhua, CNSA

Up to 7 typhoons expected in second half of 2016: Observatory

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) said four to seven tropical cyclones could come within 500 kilometers of Hong Kong during the second half of this year, Metro Daily reported Wednesday.

Annual rainfall is forecast at 2,500-3,000 mm this year, the HKO said.

However, while it is impossible to forecast when a rainstorm will occur, HKO director Shun Chi-ming urged the public to be vigilant against the threat of inclement weather and prepare for the coming rainy and typhoon seasons.

The HKO is planning to launch a new version of its location-specific lightning alert service webpage in the second quarter of the year, which will allow members of the public to monitor thunderstorm activity in their area.

Shun said comparing the predicted temperature to the actual temperature, the HKO’s next-day forecast shows an average deviation of 1 degree Celsius, while there is a 1- to 2-degree deviation in the five- to nine-day forecast.

He said there were only a few occasions where the deviation was greater than 3 degrees, so the HKO is on par with leading international standards.

Shun said the HKO has been observing its peers overseas to benchmark its own performance but has opted not to answer in a high-profile manner public queries about a lack of accuracy in weather forecasts.

He admitted, however, that it is important to enhance the HKO’s performance, as there will be more and more extreme weather conditions because of rapid climate change.

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