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Forecast Bright for Weather TV
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China's first all-weather TV channel will be launched soon. Meteorologists believe that the subscription-only channel will prove invaluable to ordinary citizens.

"Simply by turning on the TV, audiences can get the latest weather information, and early warnings for disastrous weather such as typhoons; all updated every 10 minutes," said Xu Xiaofeng, vice-director of China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

The channel is operated by Huafeng Group of Meteorological Audio-visual Information under the CMA.

Xu added that the channel, which uses CMA data, will also provide information about the impact of weather or climate change on the environment, farming and traffic.

"It will play a key role in reducing or mitigating damage caused by disasters," he said, adding that, for ordinary people, they can learn how to protect themselves from bad weather conditions such as lightning.

Also yesterday, the CMA announced that it would make available to the public its real-time and historic satellite weather and climate data collection, free of charge.

"Users can download the data (via the Internet), get it through a professional IT platform designed for researchers, or receive it through a special broadcasting system covering Asia-Pacific countries and regions," Yang Jun, director of CMA's National Satellite Meteorological Center, said.

"The data we have is a very rare scientific resource," he said, expressing the hope that it could be shared by more users working in various sectors such as meteorology, water resources, agriculture, forestry, the environment and civil aviation.

(China Daily May 19, 2006)

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