Newsletter Issue 15 (January 2022)




2021 as the warmest year on record for Hong Kong


Globally, 2021 is likely to be between the fifth and seventh warmest year on record according to the WMO’s preliminary assessment. In Hong Kong, 2021 was the warmest year on record with an annual mean temperature of 24.6 degrees, 1.1 degrees above the 1991-2020 normal. There were 61 Hot Nights and 54 Very Hot Days in Hong Kong in 2021, both ranking the highest on record and breaking the previous records set in 2020.



The weather of December 2021 – A December with tropical cyclone warning signal


With tropical cyclone Rai affecting the northern part of the South China Sea and skirting past to the south of Hong Kong, the Observatory issued the Standby Signal No. 1 on 20 December 2021. It was the second time in Hong Kong necessitating the issuance of tropical cyclone warning signal in December since 1946.



The past 7 years have been the hottest on record “by a clear margin”


The past seven years have been the hottest ever recorded globally “by a clear margin,” according to findings released Monday by scientists with the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. Though 2021 was not quite as warm as other recent years, scientists warned that global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise.



Tonga eruption: How its impact spread so widely and violently

On 15 January, the centre of the volcano sank, disappearing under the sea. About two hours later, it erupted, with devastating force. The eruption set off a massive atmospheric shockwave travelling at about 300m (1,000ft) per second. Pressure changes were detected on the other side of the world, in Europe, 15 hours later.



Tonga volcano eruption likely not large enough to affect global climate


Though massive volcanoes have the potential to affect global temperatures and weather, the eruption near Tonga on 15 January was likely not large enough to impact global climate. Scientists have estimated from satellite data the total SO2 mass from the Saturday eruption was 0.4 teragrams of SO2 (compared to 15-20 teragrams released during the famous Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991), which is well below what scientists say could significantly alter global climate.



Typhoon Rai’s trail of destruction in the Philippines reignites loss and damage calls


Rai was the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2021. The category 5 cyclone, which made landfall in mid December, killed more than 400 people and caused at least half a billion dollars in economic losses and damages. Almost seven million people have lost their homes or main source of income. The typhoon caused widespread flooding which affected more than 420,000 hectares of land and damaged or destroyed 925,000 houses.



冬奧氣象預報 – 中央氣象台研究精細化賽事預報預警技術


2021年初,中央氣象台成立冬奧技術攻堅團隊,在“智慧冬奧2022天氣預報示範計畫”第一次技術橫向評測中,多項產品檢驗效果突出,獲得了參加2022年北京冬奧會氣象保障技術支撐正式資格!傳統客觀預報方法的弱項體現在對異常或極端天氣的捕捉能力較弱,這就需要研發人員把對天氣形勢的理解加入到模型中進行再優化,從而讓預報員找到更多指標,成為預報的參考依據。



High tech helps update weather forecast every 10 minutes at 2022 Games


In order to accurately forecast weather during the upcoming Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the meteorological service in the Yanqing district of Beijing has developed a short-term forecasting system based on high technology, which can update weather forecast in 10 minutes.



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