Weather forecasts

(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-01-02 07:45

A total of 1.2 billion text message warnings about extreme weather changes sent by meteorological departments at various levels to relevant working units or residents in the past year suggests how meteorological workers are adopting a people-centered approach in providing as convenient a service as possible.

Weather forecasts are something which many harbor mixed feelings about - they cannot live without it but they quite often feel annoyed when inaccurate or wrong predictions lead to inconvenience or even great trouble.

When it comes to the reduction of possible losses from natural calamities, the importance of timely and accurate weather forecasts can never be overestimated.

That such a forecast of a rainstorm in Central China's Hubei Province, along with preparations for the evacuation of residents in July last year, averted a fatal disaster for thousands of local residents, signifies the irreplaceable role of meteorological services in reducing the impact of natural disasters.

Undoubtedly, the use of meteorological satellites and state-of-the-art technologies in the observation and analysis of weather conditions have considerably raised the accuracy and timeliness of weather forecasts. The weather can be capricious and it is unrealistic for meteorological workers to give 100 percent accurate forecasts. But the way they make unremitting efforts to keep tracking the constant change does make a difference.

That may explain why the authorities of the China Meteorological Administration has set strict demands on its workers that they must make 100 percent efforts although the forecasts can never be expected to be 100 percent accurate. It is the efforts of weather people to accurately forecast the eight typhoons that contributed considerably to the successful evacuation of residents and preparations to avert possible damage that could have been caused by typhoons along coastal regions in 2007.

Climate change caused by global warming poses a challenge to meteorological work while the increased frequency of extreme weather conditions has projected its even more important supporting role for economic development and social progress.

(China Daily 01/02/2008 page8)

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