Innovate with Science, Serve with Heart – Dedicated Services and Caring for the Public
Hong Kong Observatory

Exemplary Services@Gov
2019
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The Hong Kong Observatory keeps pace with the times to provide people-oriented quality services in meteorology and related fields, and to enhance the society's capability in natural disaster prevention and response through science, innovation and partnership.

Multi-channel information dissemination to raise public awareness on disaster prevention

With increasing demand for weather-related information, the Observatory's online information service recorded more than 146 billion page views in 2018. The total number of downloads of the "My Observatory" mobile application exceeded 7.8 million. The Observatory also provided timely weather reminders and warnings through the social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Several days before Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong, the Observatory began to issue daily Facebook posts to alert the public to take preventive measures. Frequent updates on wind strengths and storm surges were provided on the day when the typhoon hit Hong Kong, enhancing public awareness and resilience to natural disasters.

Innovative services with interdisciplinary collaborations

In line with the "paperless aircraft cabin" measure, the Observatory partnered with the aviation industry to launch the "MyFlightWx" electronic flight bag mobile application, the world’s first-of-its-kind developed by an official meteorological authority. On the subject of big data analysis and smart city development, the Observatory developed “microclimate monitoring stations” to collect high-density meteorological data for studying urban climate and supporting personalised weather information services. The "SWIRLS" nowcasting system developed by the Observatory supports rainstorms forecasting and warning services operations. Such forecasts are also provided to other government departments to mitigate landslips, enhance ecology and preserve freshwater. The system has also won various information technology awards. The Observatory was designated by the World Meteorological Organisation as a Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Nowcasting in 2018. It is a recognition of the significant international role that the Observatory plays in applying nowcasting techniques.

Incorporating opinions, innovating continuously, keeping pace with the times

The Observatory has established sharing platforms such as Yammer and WhatsApp Group to enhance interactions and collaborations among colleagues. There are also very diverse modes of external communications, including regular liaison group meetings with the maritime, aviation and media communities to understand the needs of users and the effectiveness of service applications. The "Strategic Advisory Committee", which is composed of scholars and experts from different sectors, examines the Observatory's services from various perspectives. Members of the "Community Weather Observing Scheme" and "Friends of the Observatory" are also invited to participate in testing new products and services. Through incorporating opinions from different stakeholders, long-term development strategies and objectives are formulated so that the Observatory can continue to innovate and keep pace with the times.

The Observatory issued Facebook posts days before Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong to raise the public’s awareness on the potential impact and threat.
The first electronic flight bag mobile application “MyFlightWx” developed in-house by a meteorological authority
SWIRLS (Short-range Warning of Intense Rainstorms in Localised Systems) was awarded the Smart Business (Solution for Business and Public Sector Enterprise) Gold Award and the Smart Business Grand Award of the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2019.