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Sino-US Focus on Weather Forecasts

Top meteorologists of China and the US are jointly trying to make weather forecasts more accurate, China Meteorological Administration (CMA) head Zheng Guoguang told China Daily website on Tuesday.

"Chinese meteorologists have done a great job by accurately forecasting the heavy snow that lashed the country in January and February. That won the praise of the international community."

Apart form the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the chief of National Weather Service (NWS) in the US, John Hayes, has also expressed his wish to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

A China-US forum on meteorological development will be held in Beijing in October.

Like China, the US too has been plagued by snowstorms, with six severe ones battering that country since December. In fact, snowstorms have been hitting the US for years.

"We wish to share our experiences and research to enhance our ability to forecast accurately such severe weather," he said.

Beijing Olympic Games

Weather services for the Beijing Olympic Games is another area in which China has been working with international organizations, said Zheng, who is also head of the CMA Olympic Meteorological Support Committee. Weather services for the Games mean up-to-the-minute data from about 300 automatic meteorological stations in Beijing and its neighboring areas.

The CMA, based on the experience of 2000 Sydney Games, plans to invite Australia, Canada, the US, the UK, Japan, and the Hong Kong special administration region to help in the forecasting process.

Since the main Olympic stadium, Bird's Nest, doesn't have a roof, the local meteorological bureau has been entrusted the job of preventing rain from spoiling the show there.

"We've been experimenting by firing seeding agents into clouds to manipulate rainfall since 2006," Zheng said, but conceded that such methods have little impact on heavy thunderstorms and squalls.

(China Daily March 12, 2008)

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