The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau is to avoid using vague phrases such as "at times" and "in some areas" in its forecasts this year in a bid to make them more specific and accurate.
And the forecasts will detail weather conditions in eastern, western, southern and northern Shanghai separately.
"For example, if rain hits some areas in the city, people can decide whether to bring an umbrella according to their location," said bureau spokesman Feng Lei.
The bureau is now talking with several districts about broadcasting forecasts on large screens at major landmarks such as the Bund and the People's square.
"We expect people to know the weather condition as soon as possible when disastrous weather hits," said Feng.
The bureau will also cooperate with two mobile communication companies - China Mobile and China Unicom - this year, to send weather alerts to cell phone users according to their location.
"For instance, if a rainstorm hits Chongming County, there's no need to send an alert to people downtown. We'll use the regional short message broadcasting technology to send alerts to anyone in the affected area," Feng said.
More practical information, such as pollen count and sunstroke alerts, will be published on the bureau's Website (www.soweather.com) this year, to enable people to take preventative measures.
The bureau will also release forecasts in sign language for people with hearing difficulties.
The bureau will be drawing up a map charting how bad weather has affected different districts over the years.
(Shanghai Daily February 5, 2008)