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China to Provide Hourly Weather Forecasts During Olympics

China's meteorological departments will provide weather forecasts on an hourly basis during the Beijing Olympic Games, Beijing Vice Mayor Liu Jingmin said on Wednesday.

"A special task force for Olympic weather service, established by China Meteorological Administration (CMA) and the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau, has been in operation for more than two years," said Liu, also executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

The meteorological workers have collected and carefully analyzed the city's meteorological data of the past decades to better forecast weather conditions during the Beijing Olympics, said Liu.

The CMA has predicted a mere 10 percent chance for rainfall on August 8, the opening day of the Beijing Games.

"Meanwhile, we're working on measures to minimize the influence of bad weather conditions on the opening and closing ceremonies," Liu said in response to a journalist's question.

He said China is also confident in relaying the Olympic torch to Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest peak also known as Mount Everest, despite its tough weather conditions and lack of oxygen.

"Our first test was a success last year, and we're confident of its final success with the concerted efforts of meteorological workers."

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2008)

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