The upper air observing station of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) of Hong Kong, China was recently accredited by the WMO as a centennial observing station. It is the world’s first upper air observing station being accredited since the introduction of the recognition mechanism.
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The Typhoon Committee, which symbolizes the successful cooperation between WMO and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, holds its 53rd annual session from 23 to 25 February.
Globally, 2020 is on track to be one of the three warmest years on record according to the World Meteorological Organization's preliminary assessment. Over the Arctic, the sea-ice extents for July and October 2020 were the lowest on record and the annual minimum in September was also the second lowest. In 2020, various extreme weather events continued to wreak havoc in different parts of the world, including heatwaves in the Australia, Caribbean region, Mexico, South America, western Europe, eastern Mediterranean, Japan, and Siberia; extreme cold events in North America and the southern part of South America; severe drought in the interior of South America, north-central Europe and parts of the southern Africa; extreme rainfall triggered severe flooding in large parts of Africa, South Asia, China, Korean Peninsula, Viet Nam and parts of western Japan; and severe damages and heavy casualties brought by tropical cyclones in the United States, Caribbean region, Central America, India, Bangladesh, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Philippines, Korean Peninsula, western Japan and Viet Nam. Exacerbating by widespread drought and high temperature weather, destructive wildfires ravaged California and Colorado of the United States, northern Siberia, eastern Australia, and western Brazil.
The Hong Kong Observatory successfully registered a patent in Hong Kong for its in-house developed bollard design for automatic weather station (AWS) in December 2020. With the new design, various meteorological sensors can be housed together in a compact enclosure, solving the problem of installing an ordinary automatic weather station in urban areas where space is limited. This facilitates the future development of microscale weather monitoring. Having a combination of sensors for meteorological measurements, such as air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, and ultraviolet index, the bollard style AWS also has a lighting feature that allows it to be integrated within parks or landscaped gardens as a landscape fixture. To establish the design, the Observatory used 3D printing technology to fabricate the prototype of the radiation shields and electronic housing. This expedited the making of the enclosure that is not only functional but with an outlook unlike any ordinary AWS.
Globally, 2019 is likely to be the second or third warmest year on record according to the World Meteorological Organization's preliminary assessment. Over the Arctic, the daily sea-ice extent minimum in September 2019 was the second lowest in the satellite record and October has seen further record low extents. In 2019, various extreme weather events ravaged different parts of the world, including unrelenting heatwaves in much of western and northern Europe, Middle East, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and southern South America, a significant cold spell in central North America, severe drought in many parts of southeast Asia, the southwest Pacific, eastern Australia and Greater Horn of Africa. Extreme rainfall triggered severe flooding in western and northern India, parts of southern China, Iran, northern Queensland of Australia, west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Jayapura of Indonesia, large part of the central United States and parts of Eastern Canada. High winds, storm surges and torrential rain induced by tropical cyclones brought severe damages and heavy casualties to parts of the United States east coast, eastern Texas, Nova Scotia of Canada, Japan, India, the Philippines, Mozambique, parts of Zimbabwe and the Bahamas.