CHINA / National

China improve typhoon forecasting services
Updated: 2006-06-02 16:38

Chinese meteorologists will implement a new system for typhoon forecasting in mid-June, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

Two new terms - severe typhoon and super typhoon - will be added to the forecast grades in a bid to reduce the casualties and losses caused by typhoons, said Xiao Ziniu, deputy head of the Chinese Central Meteorological Station under the CMA.

"Traditionally, strong tropical storms would be called typhoons if the wind speed exceeded 32.7 meters per second, no matter how strong it was," said Xiao.

In the new system, tropical storms with wind speeds from 32.7 to 41.4 meters per second will be classified as typhoons, those with wind speeds from 41.5 to 50.9 meters per second will be classified as severe typhoons, and those above 51 meters per second will be called super typhoons.

"The new system will help warn citizens properly about the power of the typhoons to help them make full preparations," Xiao said.

The first typhoon this year, Chanchu, landed at China on May 18, 40 days earlier than the average date in previous years, according to the CMA.

China is forecast to experience a stormy summer this year.

More typhoons will hit China this year partially due to the warm ocean current in the northwestern Pacific and high temperatures in the Qinghai-Tibet Autonomous Region, according to the CMA.

Typhoons caused about 23 billion yuan (2.88 billion U.S. dollars) of economic losses and 440 deaths from 1988 to 2004, according to the CMA.