The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) announced in Hong Kong today (30 January 2007) that the French version of the website on official city weather forecasts of the World Meterological Organization (WMO) was launched by Météo France (the national weather service of France) in collaboration with the HKO.
This new website (http://www.meteo.fr/wwis) offers to the international community and the media access to the latest official weather forecasts for the world's cities issued by the National Meteorological Services (NMSs). It is the French version of the English-language World Weather Information Service (WWIS) website which was pioneered and operated by the Hong Kong Observatory since 2001.
Mr Lam Chiu-ying, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory said that the technical personnel of both the HKO and Météo France were in close contact during the development of the French website. "The launch of this website reflects the close cooperation among meteorologists in working towards the goal of providing official and up-to-date weather information to the global audience. It is the result of close collaboration among WMO Members, both developed countries and developing countries, in spite of the great diversity in the technical capability of the Members." Mr Lam said.
Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, Consul General of France in Hong Kong congratulated the HKO and Météo France for jointly bringing the French version of the WWIS website into operation. He said, "This website in French is an excellent example of how Hong Kong, China contributes actively, as a cosmopolitan city that it is, to facilitate the communication among people throughout the world. French is one of the main international languages and French-speaking communities are found all over the world. I am sure that this official website for weather information would be widely used by our countrymen and other French-speaking people."
Mr Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO, said: "The latest phase in the expansion of this website shows how developed and developing countries can work together to provide official meteorological information to linguistic cross-sections of global society."
Pierre-Etienne Bisch, Président-directeur general of Météo France added: "This new source of information in French is a strong example of cooperation within the international weather community. It's a strong contribution towards raising the awareness of the general public and to its knowledge of weather and climate conditions."
The WWIS website offers authoritative and reliable weather information to all Internet users, who are often bewildered by the diversity of information presented by a wide array of service providers not related to the meteorological community.
In 2000, the WMO decided to establish an official website on world weather and tasked the Hong Kong Observatory to develop and operate this website. The World Weather Information Service (WWIS) website (http://worldweather.wmo.int) was set up for test since 2001 and is the world's first website with official city forecasts. At the beginning, this website only contains climatological information. By 2002, it contained weather forecasts for some 400 cities. The number of city forecasts surpassed 1000 in 2004 and the WWIS was declared fully operational by the WMO in 2005.
Presently, 114 WMO Members supply official weather forecasts for 1146 cities in the website. The website also contains climatological data for the cities, which are extremely useful for travel planning months in advance.
Users can also visit the websites of various National Meteorological Services to search for further information in the respective countries by following the links given in the website.
For visitors to the HKO website ( http://www.weather.gov.hk/contente.htm ), they may reach the French version of the WWIS by clicking the "WWIS" icon and then choose the "Français" icon there.
Alternatively, visitors may go to the WWIS website in English (http://worldweather.wmo.int/) and click "Français" there.
The French version of the World Weather Information Service website
Enthusiastic weather lover browsing the website