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January 20, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Weather bureau to update data each hour online

THE Shanghai Meteorological Bureau will update the weather forecast every hour on its website and microblogs starting in March, officials said yesterday.

Real-time weather forecasts will be updated hourly from 5am to 10pm, providing information about the next three hours, said Feng Lei, the bureau's deputy director, who said Shanghai's weather condition changes frequently and the current practice doesn't meet people's needs.

The bureau will launch more microblogs in addition to the one on to deliver the real-time information. The new practice will be in service on March 1, Feng said.

"We will keep our forecast on pace with the changing weather," Feng told reporters. "Our survey showed that there is a high demand for a three-hour weather forecast."

After the Spring Festival, the bureau will also begin to forecast weather conditions in the city's suburban areas during rush hours every day.

Meanwhile, the city's landmark meteorological signal tower on the Bund, which is currently open as a three-floor Atanu Café & Lounge Bar, will have its function as a meteorological station restored this year, the bureau said.

The 104-year-old tower can still be used to record and deliver weather information, the bureau said.

The 50-meter tall tower can also be used to release weather alerts or emergencies, Feng added.

Built in 1907, the tower was once the tallest structure on the Bund, providing weather forecasts for navigation. People could see the signal flags hanging on the tower from far away and decide whether to go to sea. But with the advent of broadcasting, the signal tower was gradually phased out.

"The architecture has a historical meaning to the city, and we're going to make it functional again," Feng said.

The huge thermometer that was reformed from the chimney of a power plant in the Pudong New Area from the World Expo 2010 will remain in service, Feng added.

"It's more modern while the tower in the Bund shows our city's history and culture," Feng said.

The bureau is also cooperating with the city's tourism authority to develop a free app for iPhone and iPad to provide weather information for travelers.

The app will be released in the first half of the year.


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