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Press Release No. 893

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Not an official record

WMO launches SWIdget:  get severe weather warnings on tropical cyclones on your computer

Geneva / Hong Kong (WMO) – 13 July 2010: The Severe Weather Information Centre (SWIC) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has been enhanced with the launch of a new service known as SWIdget.  With this brand new service, local and international users can now obtain severe weather warnings related to tropical cyclones that are issued by participating official weather services in near real-time.  This new service aims to help users access severe weather warnings easily so that they can take suitable precautionary measures well in time.

SWIdget is a software tool/widget developed by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) on behalf of the WMO for accessing information from the SWIC platform.  It allows users to select and display weather warnings in different regions on their personal computers.  At present, warnings of the three weather services, namely, Hong Kong, China; Macao, China and Guam, U.S.A, are available in the beta version of SWIdget.  Plans are in hand to invite more National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to participate and provide their official local severe weather warnings for this new service.  

SWIdget can be downloaded from the SWIC website at  
http://severe.worldweather.org/swidget/swidget.html

Installation guide as well as user guide can also be found on the webpage.  After installing SWIdget, users can select region/city/warning according to their preference.  A dialog box will pop up with an audio alarm on the user's personal computer when there is a change of warning status issued by the selected NMHSs.

SWIC (http://severe.worldweather.wmo.int/) is a WMO website that integrates and enhances regional activities within an international framework for the protection of life and livelihoods.  The website provides official tropical cyclone information sourced from NMHSs in different regions of the world.  In addition, SWIC provides official observation data around the world for heavy rains and thunderstorms.

This new service is complimentary to MeteoAlarm which also brings early warning information to users in Europe.

WMO is the United Nations System’s authoritative voice on weather,
climate and water.

For more information, please contact:

At the WMO Communications and Public Affairs Office:

Ms Carine Richard-Van Maele, Chief, Tel: +41 (0)22 730 83 15, E-mail: cpa@wmo.int

Ms Haleh Kootval, Chief, Public Weather Services, Tel: +41 (0)22 730 83 33, Email: hkootval@wmo.int Website: http://www.wmo.int

At the Hong Kong Observatory:

Mr John Y.K. Leung, SWIC Coordinator, Email: jykleung@hko.gov.hk

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