The seasonal typhoon prediction system to be
developed by Professor Johnny Chan has the potential to protect lives and
property more effectively.
A pioneering system for predicting with greater accuracy the landfall of
seasonal typhoons to be developed by Professor Johnny Chan Chung-leung,
Chair Professor of Atmospheric Science at the School of Energy and Environment,
City University of Hong Kong (CityU), has received a grant under the European
Commission (EC) and Research Grant Council (RGC) Collaboration Scheme.
It is the first of its kind to predict with more precision than before
the number and intensity of tropical cyclones that will make landfall in a
Existing systems tend to focus on identifying the number of typhoons
formed over the entire ocean basin but not the number that will hit land, nor
the intensity of the storm.
Professor Chan’s new system, titled “Development of a Regional
Prediction System for Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Landfall Prediction and Future
Projections under Different Climate Change Scenarios”, will enhance the ability
to make such predictions, which has the potential to protect lives and property
This three-year project, a collaboration with Imperial College London,
has received nearly HK$2 million under the EC/RGC Collaboration Scheme, which
was launched in Hong Kong this year.
Professor Chan said global warming has been causing more frequent
rainstorms, droughts and other types of extreme weather, all of which affect
people’s lives and the global economy. He said a more accurate system for
seasonal typhoon prediction could help governments develop contingency measures
and formulate long-term policy. It would also help insurance companies to make
better risk assessments, he added.
Professor Chan has made significant contributions to developing typhoon
prediction systems over the years. His new project focuses on the interaction
between typhoons and the ocean, which should in turn produce more accurate
The EC/RGC Collaboration Scheme aims to promote collaboration on
scientific research between Hong Kong and countries under the European Union
and help researchers to participate in projects endorsed by the EC’s Horizon
2020 Programme. With funding worth €80 billion for 2014–2020, the programme is
the largest research and most innovative initiative in Europe aimed at boosting
the development of advanced technology and enabling public and private sectors
to work together to promote new ideas.
Professor Chan said he was delighted that his project had received the
funding. “Many Asian countries face the threat of typhoons, but not many
universities in this region study the seasonal prediction of tropical cyclones.
CityU has actively collaborated with meteorological agencies, universities and
research institutes in Europe, the US and Asia in recent years. This grant
affirms CityU’s achievements in this area,” he said.