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Keeping up to wind speed in Guangzhou

By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-25 11:21
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Keeping up to wind speed in Guangzhou
A staff member at the Guangzhou Meteorological Bureau checks the real-time weather conditions. [Photo/Xinhua]

GUANGZHOU - When China organizes an international sporting event, nothing is left to chance, not even the weather.

The weather-monitoring network officials put in place to keep the Guangzhou Games running as smoothly as possible even measures the sand temperature at the beach volleyball venue.

"I've never seen a forecast as creative as this one in any of my past competitions," Mack Tanner, an award presenter at the Guangdong International Rowing Center, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Meteorological departments from across the country have worked together to build a network that can forewarn of dangerous or inclement conditions and keep athletes as prepared as possible for their competitions and respective training calendars.

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The network includes two satellites, 16 new generation Doppler radars, 15 wind profile radars, more than 6,000 regional automatic stations, three large marine meteorological buoy stations, 41 visibility meters and 17 atmospheric electric field meters, among other advanced equipments.

"A total of 162 meteorological experts, senior forecasters and technicians from across the country are now working in Guangzhou, offering timely and accurate weather reports for the Asian Games," said Hu Situan, deputy director of Guangzhou's meteorological bureau.

Forecasts can be updated for each competition venue every three hours.

"(We have) developed a series of detail-classified weather services based on the actual needs of different athletes and sports events, including the sand temperature for beach volleyball, the water temperature for kayaking, a summer-heat pressure indicator for equestrian, and wind and water forecast for sailing," he said.

Tanner said he expects to see a similar model applied at the next rowing worlds.

"It is very important for the athletes, and I will take it back for reference at the next sailing world championship," he said, showing media a forecast chart indicating how wind directions were expected to interfere with the day's races.

The meteorological experts include senior academics and professors from the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), the Peking and Sun Yat-sen universities and chief forecasters from Guangdong's neighboring provinces and autonomous regions.

Many helped organize the weather reports for the Beijing Games in 2008, Hu said.

The Asian Games Meteorological Services Leading Group, set up by CMA head Zheng Guoguang last year, is acting as the coordinator for the real-time and three-dimensional monitoring network for the largest Asian sports gala ever held, which wraps up on Saturday.



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