4 August 2016

CUHK Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability Co-hosts 'WMO WWRP 4th International Symposium on Nowcasting and Very-short-range Forecast 2016' (WSN16)



The 'WMO WWRP 4th International Symposium on Nowcasting and Very-short-range Forecast 2016' (WSN16 symposium) was held from 25 July to 29 July at CUHK. It was jointly organized by the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability (IEES) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the World Weather Research Programme of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO WWRP), the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) of the HKSAR Government, and the Hong Kong Meteorological Society (HKMetS). 

The symposium on Nowcasting and Very-short-range Forecast was held in Asia for the first time. It was made possible through the generous funding support of the Academic and Professional Conference Fund of CUHK. The theme of the WSN symposium this year was ‘From Nowcasting and Mesoscale Modelling Sciences to Services’. Over 120 experts and participants from around the world shared their knowledge and latest advances in nowcasting. Nowcasting is commonly regarded as an end-to-end forecasting process for high impact weather through providing rapidly updated, high precision meteorological products and services from data collection to the end users. 

Officiating at the opening ceremony were Professor Alexander Baklanov, WMO Secretariat, Atmospheric Research and Environment Branch, Research Department; Dr Jeanette Onvlee, Co-chair of the WMO WWRP, Nowcasting and Mesoscale Research Working Group (NMRWG); Mr. Shun Chi-ming, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory of the HKSAR Government, and President of WMO Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology; and Professor Fung Tung, Associate Vice-President of CUHK and Associate Director of IEES. 

At the ceremony, Professor Fung said, ‘Occurrence of severe weather events causes considerable disruption to our social and economic activities. Nowcasting and Very-short-range prediction of severe weather events present stiff challenges to our forecasters and decision makers. Therefore, advancements in the accuracy of such short-term forecasts are of significant benefit to our society.’ ‘The implementation plan of WMO WWRP covers societal challenges of extreme weather, water, urbanization and new technologies,’ said Professor Baklanov. ‘Working groups of WWRP are carrying out projects on High Impact Weather, Polar Prediction and Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Prediction.’ 

At the 5-day symposium, speakers presented scientific findings under the following thematic sessions: Forecasting of High Impact Weather in Very-short-range; New Observational Instruments; Advances on Mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) Model, Data Assimilation, Ensemble Prediction; Integration of Nowcast and Mesoscale NWP; Urban Meteorology; Transfer of the Science on Nowcasting and Very-short-range Forecasting to Services; Applications of Nowcasting of Severe Weather in Public Weather Services, Transportation, and Public Utilities; Verification and Validation; Socio-economic Impact; and the WMO WWRP Forecast Demonstration Projects (FDP)/Research and Development Projects (RDP). 

A special theme of the WSN16 symposium is Aviation Nowcasting, in particular the Aviation Research Demonstration Project (AvRDP). AvRDP is a project led by WWRP in collaboration with the Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) of WMO. The project aims to demonstrate the capability of nowcasting and high resolution NWP modelling techniques in support of the development of the next generation aviation initiative to be implemented globally step-by-step in the next 15 years and beyond. In connection with the symposium, a 3-day Capacity Building Training Workshop was also held from 20 July to 22 July at CUHK. Around 30 participants learned about the latest nowcasting and mesoscale modelling technology in response to the aviation industry’s need for the advancement of aviation meteorological services in the 0-6 hour nowcasting time frame. 

The WSN symposium has been held once every 3 to 4 years since 2005. In the past, the WSN symposia had been held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (WSN12), Whistler, Canada (WSN09) and Toulouse, France (WSN05). 

World Meteorological Organization
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) with 191 Member States and Territories. It is the UN system's authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources. As weather, climate and the water cycle know no national boundaries, international cooperation on a global scale is essential for the development of meteorology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their application. WMO provides the framework for such international cooperation. 

Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability 
Established in 2011, the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability (IEES) aims to promote multidisciplinary research and education, and build synergy for strategic research programme development through its six flagship programmes: 

•           Climate Change, Environmental Monitoring and Management Programme
•           Energy Technology and Conservation Programme
•           Sustainable Urban Environment and Public Health Programme
•           Environmental Policy and Governance Programme
•           China Environment Programme
•           Community Outreach Programme (CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia)

IEES will work closely with industrial, government and non-government organizations as well as different community stakeholders to build a better environment for our future generations.

More details of IEES can be found at: www.cuhk.edu.hk/iees.

Professor Fung Tung, Associate Vice-President of CUHK and Associate Director of IEES, delivers a welcome speech.
Professor Fung Tung, Associate Vice-President of CUHK and Associate Director of IEES, delivers a welcome speech.

Mr. Shun Chi-ming, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory of the HKSAR Government and President of the WMO Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology, delivers an opening speech and an overview of Global Aviation Trend and Nowcasting and Mesoscale Modelling Requirements.
Mr. Shun Chi-ming, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory of the HKSAR Government and President of the WMO Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology, delivers an opening speech and an overview of Global Aviation Trend and Nowcasting and Mesoscale Modelling Requirements.

A group photo of the participants of the WSN16 symposium.
A group photo of the participants of the WSN16 symposium.

Training Workshop on Aviation Research Demonstration Project (AvRDP).
Training Workshop on Aviation Research Demonstration Project (AvRDP).

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