Games weather role

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 September, 2007, 12:00am

Weather forecasters in Hong Kong are providing meteorological devices and information to support the Beijing Olympics.

Wong Ming-chung, assistant director of the Observatory, said a computer system called 'Swirls', which will forecast severe weather, had already been sent to Beijing in good time for the summer events.

The system will give predictions up to six hours ahead of the possibility of hail, severe gusts, rainstorms and lightning hitting Beijing.

Meanwhile, a webpage has been developed for the Hong Kong windsurfing team to gauge wind speeds, wind direction and waves in Qingdao, the venue for the event.

Dr Wong said the equestrian events in Sha Tin and Sheung Shui would have facilities and services for weather forecasting, including wind speed, direction and rainfall.

This will include a 'Wet Bulb Globe Temperature' system, first developed by US marines in the 1950s, to estimate the effect of a number of factors such as temperature, humidity and solar radiation on the horses.

The temperature at the end of July is usually above 30 degrees Celsius, which could affect horses' health. A newly built indoor training area will have the temperature set at 22 degrees to ensure their well-being.