The observatory said on Monday that it will deploy additional staff to monitor the approaching Tropical Cyclone Kompasu, saying the public messages for the storm that hit Hong Kong at the weekend were not ideal.
There has been criticism over the observatory repeatedly changing its prediction as to when the number 8 typhoon signal would be lowered on Saturday, as Tropical Cyclone Lionrock passed by the territory.
At a press conference, the observatory said it would issue the Strong Wind Signal Number 3 on Monday evening as Kompasu was expected to come within 800 kilometres of Hong Kong.
Winds were expected to strengthen late on Tuesday and early Wednesday and a number eight signal was not being ruled out.
The observatory’s director, Cheng Cho-ming, said he hoped the forecaster would do better this time around.
“We will enlist more of our staff, increase our manpower to monitor the situation so that we will have a better appreciation with the situation around and hopefully we can provide a better service this time,” he said.
Cheng said a review would be carried out on how to improve their forecasting and communication.
“This was a very special case. Lionrock was a tropical storm very far away… more than 500 kilometres away, but it brought us the number eight signal. This was the first time and there wasn’t a similar situation before. It also brought record-breaking rain to us,” he said.
“In terms of predicting such an extreme situation, it’s really difficult. Under the effect of climate change, we expect that tropical cyclones can become stronger and the rain can become more intense. In that case, predicting such extreme situations could become more difficult in the future.”