China makes major gains in meteorology



China saw significant advancements in meteorological monitoring and forecasting capabilities over the past year, contributing to global disaster prevention and mitigation, said a report issued by the China Meteorological Administration. 

The report, released on Saturday to mark the 64th World Meteorological Day, said China’s meteorological services helped the public avoid losses amounting to 560 billion yuan ($77 billion) last year.

With the development of the weather numerical forecasting technology, the country ramped up the supporting ability of global forecasting services. China established a weather forecast system with a grid spacing of 10 km globally, 5 km nationally, and 1 km for key areas. The forecasting accuracy increased 4.6 percent year-on-year on average.

China’s Fengyun meteorological satellite is providing real-time data and customized services to 129 countries and regions, supporting efforts in global disaster reduction and sustainable development, it said.

Last year, after upgrading the CMA-GFS, a global medium-range numerical weather prediction model self-developed by China, the predictable days of the Northern Hemisphere exceeded eight for the first time, progressing from six 14 years ago, and the horizontal resolution of the model doubled, increasing from 25 kilometers to 12.5 km, basically meeting the global advanced standards.

The report added the CMA-MESO, a prediction model for mesoscale weather, also boosted the forecasting capacity of severe convection and extreme weather, achieving a 1-km resolution with hourly update.

Last year, 150 weather radars were added or upgraded. The 24-hour average track forecast error of a typhoon affecting China reduced to 62 km, recording the highest accuracy. The average lead time for severe convective weather warning signals was optimized to 43 minutes before the arrival of the weather, the report said.