Trần Hồng Thái. — Photo hymetnet.gov.vn
Doctor Trần Hồng Thái, deputy director general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, talks to the online newspaper of the Vietnamese Communist Party about his agency’s efforts to produce reliable weather forecasts on par with those of foreign peers.
What is your assessment on Việt Nam’s capacity in issuing early storm warnings in the recent past?
I should say that our weather forecasts have improved considerably. Many international weather forecast organisations have noted the quality of our weather forecasting. This achievement should be attributed to the big improvement of our National Centre for Hydro Meteorological Forecast. The year 2017 was the first time Việt Nam used the radar technology in the weather forecast. With international support and assistance, we hope that in the three years from 2018-20, Việt Nam will be able to further complete this radar system. In this system we have 15 weather radars plus 18 stations to monitor thunder storms.
In addition, we have also installed a multilateral transmission system to link the national central and local stations, and regional and provincial stations. Of course, we have also established special information channels between us and our foreign partners.
Thanks to the modern technology and strong co-operation with our foreign partners, the quality of our weather forecast has been praised at home and abroad. But there is still room for us to improve in the future.
Will you talk a bit more about the technology used in weather forecasting in Việt Nam?
At present we have a weather network nationwide using the most up-to-date technology. Of course, in our work we have co-operated closely with our peers in the region and world so that our weather forecast is reliable.
Currently, we have 60 automatic weather stations, plus 40 manually operated stations. We have requested funding from international organisations for the nine regional weather forecast stations. In the next two years 2019-20, we’ll continue to seek more funding to refurbish other regional stations.
By now, with application of advanced technology, we can share and receive satellite images with foreign partners in our daily activities. As a result, I can say that our weather forecast bulletins are of high quality and even extend our weather forecasting capabilities to the next three to five days.
In 2018, we have set a target to have weather forecasts in more localities nation-wide with specific information. I’m very proud to say that Việt Nam has been considered a nucleus in the regional weather forecasting. Việt Nam already has the Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and the Law on Meteorology and Hydrology. These two laws have laid a strong foundation for our mission of weather forecasting to catch up with other countries worldwide.
Can you discuss Việt Nam’s role in the region in weather forecasting?
Việt Nam has established co-operation with many countries in the region and internationally, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Laos and the US.
From an international aid recipient nation, Việt Nam has become a Supporting Centre for Weather Forecast in the region.
At many international workshops, many countries have praised Việt Nam’s sharing valuable information with them in the work of weather forecasting or weather consultancy activities.
In 2017, Việt Nam received four foreign delegations and shared their work experiences with them.
Beginning in 2018, Việt Nam is also a regional Management Centre in Technology Transfer. This is a reward for us, yet it also requires us to work harder to live up to expectations.
With support from the World Meteorological Organisation, we will step up our research activities in the context of climate change so that we’ll be able to produce reliable weather forecast bulletins . — VNS