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|Formed||2 March 1883|
|Headquarters||134A Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong|
|Employees||315 (March 2018)|
|Annual budget||381.4m HKD (2019–20)|
|Parent agency||Commerce and Economic Development Bureau|
|Hong Kong Observatory|
| Politics and government |
of Hong Kong
|Related topics Hong Kongportal|
The Hong Kong Observatory is a weather forecast agency of the government of Hong Kong. The Observatory forecasts the weather and issues warnings on weather-related hazards. It also monitors and makes assessments on radiation levels in Hong Kong and provides other meteorological and geophysical services to meet the needs of the public and the shipping, aviation, industrial and engineering sectors.
The Observatory was established on 2 March 1883 as the Hong Kong Observatory by Sir George Bowen, the 9th Governor of Hong Kong, with William Doberck :皇家香港天文台) after obtaining a Royal Charter in 1912. The Observatory adopted the current name and emblem in 1997 after the transfer of Hong Kong's sovereignty from the UK to China.(1852–1941) as its first director. Early operations included meteorological and magnetic observations, a time service based on astronomical observations and a tropical cyclone warning service. The Observatory was renamed the Royal Observatory Hong Kong (Chinese
The Hong Kong Observatory was built in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon in 1883. Observatory Road in Tsim Sha Tsui is so named based on this landmark. However, due to rapid urbanisation, it is now surrounded by skyscrapers. As a result of high greenhouse gas emissions, the reflection of sunlight from buildings and the surfaces of roads, as well as the reduced vegetation, it suffers from a heat island effect. This was demonstrated by the considerable increase in average temperatures recorded by the Observatory between 1980 and 2005. In 2002, the Observatory opened a resource centre on the 23rd Floor of the nearby Miramar Tower, where the public can buy Hong Kong Observatory publications and access other meteorological information.
This building, built in 1883, is a rectangular two-storey plastered brick structure, it is characterised by arched windows and long verandas. It now houses the office of the directorate and to serve as a centre of administration of the Observatory.The building is a declared monument of Hong Kong since 1984.
It is next to the 1883 Building; the Centenary Building, used as The Hong Kong Observatory Headquarters, was erected in 1983 as a commemoration of the centennial service of the Observatory.
Over the years, the observatory has been led by:
|#||Name||Tenure Start||Tenure End||Length of Tenure||Notes|
|1||Dr. William Doberck||2 March 1883||12 September 1907||24 years and 195 days|
|2||Mr. Frederick George Figg||13 September 1907||13 June 1912||4 years and 275 days|
|3||Mr. Thomas Folkes Claxton||14 June 1912||8 July 1932||20 years and 25 days|
|4||Mr. Charles William Jeffries||9 July 1932||20 June 1941||8 years and 347 days|
|5||Mr. Benjamin Davis Evans||21 June 1941||30 April 1946||4 years and 314 days|
|6||Mr. Graham Scudamore Percival Heywood||1 May 1946||7 April 1956||9 years and 343 days|
|7||Dr. Ian Edward Meni Watts||8 April 1956||23 August 1965||9 years and 138 days|
|8||Mr. Gordon John Bell||24 August 1965||16 January 1981||15 years and 146 days|
|9||Mr. John Edgar Peacock||17 January 1981||14 March 1984||3 years and 58 days|
|10||Mr. Patrick Sham Pak||15 March 1984||25 May 1995||11 years and 72 days|
|11||Mr. Robert Lau Chi-kwan||26 May 1995||21 December 1996||1 year and 210 days|
|12||Dr. Lam Hung-kwan||22 December 1996||13 March 2003||6 years and 82 days|
|13||Mr. Lam Chiu-ying||14 March 2003||10 May 2009||6 years and 58 days|
|14||Dr. Lee Boon-ying||11 May 2009||13 April 2011||1 year and 338 days|
|15||Mr. Shun Chi-ming||14 April 2011||14 February 2020||8 years and 307 days|
|16||Dr. Cheng Cho-ming||15 February 2020||Incumbent||1 year, 68 days|
From 1885 to 1948, the HKO used the coat of arms of the United Kingdom in various styles for its logo but in 1949, this was changed to a circular escutcheon featuring pictures of weather observation tools, with the year 1883 at the bottom and a St Edward's Crown at the top. In 1981, the logo was changed to the old coat of arms, and in 1997, with the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, the current logo was introduced to replace the colonial symbols.
The Friends of the Observatory, an interest group set up in 1996 to help the Observatory to promote Hong Kong Observatory and its services to the public, provide science extension activities in relation to the works of the Observatory and foster communication between the Observatory and the public, now has more than 7,000 individual and family members in total. Activities organised for the Friends of the Observatory include regular science lectures and visits to Observatory's facilities. Newsletters (named 談天說地) were also published for members once every four months. Voluntary docents from this interest group lead a "HKO Guided Tour" to let the public who applied for visit in advance to visit the headquarters of the Observatory, and learn about the history, environment and meteorological science applied by the Observatory.
The Observatory regularly organises visits for the secondary school students. This outreach programme was extended to primary school students, the elderly and the community groups in the recent years. Talks are also organised in primary school during the winter time, when the officials are less busy in the severe climate issues and watchouts. A roving exhibition for the public was also mounted in shopping malls in 2003. To promote understanding of the services provided by the Observatory and their benefits to the community, over 50 press releases were issued and 7 media briefings were held in 2003. From time to time, the Observatory also works closely with schools for a series of events, including with the Geography Society of PLK Vicwood KT Chong Sixth Form College between 2008 and 2009.
The Star Ferry is a passenger ferry service operator and tourist attraction in Hong Kong. Its principal routes carry passengers across Victoria Harbour, between Hong Kong Island, and Kowloon. The service is operated by the Star Ferry Company, which was founded in 1888 as the Kowloon Ferry Company, and adopted its present name in 1898.
Tsim Sha Tsui, often abbreviated as TST, is an urban area in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong. The area is administratively part of the Yau Tsim Mong District. Tsim Sha Tsui East is a piece of land reclaimed from the Hung Hom Bay now east of Tsim Sha Tsui. The area is bounded north by Austin Road and in the east by Hong Chong Road and Cheong Wan Road.
Tropical cyclone warnings and watches are alerts issued by national weather forecasting bodies to coastal areas threatened by the imminent approach of a tropical cyclone of tropical storm or hurricane intensity. They are notices to the local population and civil authorities to make appropriate preparation for the cyclone, including evacuation of vulnerable areas where necessary. It is important that interests throughout the area of an alert make preparations to protect life and property, and do not disregard it on the strength of the detailed forecast track. Tropical cyclones are not points, and forecasting their track remains an uncertain science.
Blackhead Point, also known as Tai Pau Mai (大包米) indigenously, or by the names Tsim Sha Tsui Point and Signal Hill (訊號山), was a cape before any land reclamation took place in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. It currently remains a small hill near the coast.
The Hong Kong tropical cyclone warning signals, or informally typhoon signals, are a set of signals used to indicate the threat or effects of a tropical cyclone. The Hong Kong Observatory issues the warning signal if a tropical cyclone approaches within 800 kilometres (500 mi) of Hong Kong and poses a threat of deteriorating conditions in Hong Kong.
Observatory Road is one of the oldest roads in Hong Kong, and has existed since 1883. It is called so because this is where the Hong Kong Observatory was constructed. The Observatory is still in operation and provides updated typhoon information and other services for the Northwest Pacific area.
The Clock Tower is a landmark in Hong Kong. It is located on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is the only remnant of the original site of the former Kowloon station on the Kowloon–Canton Railway. Officially named Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower, it is usually referred to as the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower for its location.
Star Ferry Pier, Tsim Sha Tsui, or Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier, is a pier located on reclaimed land at the southernmost tip of Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong. It is commonly known as Star Ferry Pier (天星碼頭) in Tsim Sha Tsui. Star Ferry operates the pedestrian ferry service across Victoria Harbour to Wan Chai and to Central on Hong Kong Island. The location is identified as "Kowloon Point" in the franchise held by Star Ferry.
The Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre is located in the Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The Centre occupies the historic Blocks S61 and S62 of the former Whitfield Barracks at the Kowloon Park.
The 1937 Great Hong Kong Typhoon was an unnamed typhoon in Hong Kong on 2 September 1937. It was one of the deadliest typhoons in Hong Kong history killing 11,000 people. In Macau, 21 people died by this typhoon.
Severe Tropical Storm Kammuri, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Julian, was a storm which made landfall on south China in August 2008, having a maximum wind speed of 50 kn (93 km/h). The name Kammuri was submitted to the World Meteorological Organisation's Typhoon Committee by Japan and is Japanese for the Corona Borealis constellation of stars.
Typhoon Pabuk, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Chedeng, was a minimal typhoon that formed on August 5, 2007. The system made landfall on Taiwan on August 7, and on August 9 Pabuk passed to the south of Hong Kong.
Tropical Storm Higos, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Pablo, was a tropical storm during the 2008 Pacific typhoon season. The name "Higos" is the Chamorro word for fig.
Kowloon Public Pier or Tsim Sha Tsui Public Pier is a public pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. It approaches Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Victoria Harbour. Any boat can freely park at the pier.
The Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau is a department of the Macao Government. It provides weather forecasts and issues warnings on weather-related hazards. It also provides geophysical-related services to meet the needs of the public and the shipping, aviation, industrial and engineering sectors.
Typhoon Vicente, known in the Philippines as Tropical Depression Ferdie, was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Chinese province of Guangdong since Hagupit in 2008, and was regarded as the strongest storm to affect Hong Kong and Macau in more than ten years. The eighth named storm and third typhoon in the 2012 Pacific typhoon season, Vicente began life as a tropical depression on July 18, 2012 north east of the Philippines. Vicente soon steadily moved into the South China Sea, and began to intensify above warm sea waters, and began explosive intensification early on July 23, and started to charge toward the Guangdong region prompting the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) to issue the Hurricane Signal, No. 10, the first since York in 1999. The Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau also hoisted the Signal No. 9 for the first time since York and after the transfer of sovereignty over Macau. Late on the same day, Vicente made landfall over Taishan in Guangdong, China.
Typhoon Usagi, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Odette, was a violent tropical cyclone which affected Taiwan, the Philippines, China, and Hong Kong in September 2013. Usagi, or which means the constellation Lepus in Japanese, was the fourth typhoon and the nineteenth tropical storm in the basin. Developing into a tropical storm east of the Philippines late on September 16, Usagi began explosive intensification on September 19 and ultimately became a violent and large typhoon. Afterwards, the system weakened slowly, crossed the Bashi Channel on September 21, and made landfall over Guangdong, China on September 22.
Weather Underground of Hong Kong is a non-profit website established in 1995 and directed by Mr. Fong Chi Kong Clarence.
Typhoon Ruby, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yoning, was a strong tropical cyclone that struck Hong Kong, Macau, and southern China in early September 1964. The precursor disturbance to Ruby was first identified on August 29 over the Philippine Sea, and this system organised into a tropical cyclone by September 1. Ruby intensified as it moved west, becoming a typhoon the next day and subsequently passing over the Babuyan Islands of the Philippines. After reaching the South China Sea, Ruby turned northwest and intensified further, attaining peak ten-minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph) before making landfall at the peak intensity near Hong Kong on September 5. The typhoon weakened after moving inland and dissipated on September 6 over southeastern China.
Typhoon Dot was a strong tropical cyclone that made landfalls on Luzon and near Hong Kong in October 1964. It was the fifth typhoon to impact Hong Kong during the active 1964 Pacific typhoon season, and prompted the issuance of the No. 10 typhoon signal from the Royal Observatory in Hong Kong—the highest warning possible. The storm's precursor disturbance formed west of Pohnpei on October 3 and tracked towards the west, becoming a tropical storm by October 6. Gradually strengthening, Dot moved towards the west-northwest, northwest, and then curved west, leading to a landfall at typhoon intensity on Luzon on October 9. A freighter with 32 crewmembers went missing west of the island after passing through the typhoon and was never recovered.
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