Do you feel that the weather forecasts are essentially accurate? Or are the weathers like "bolts out of the blue," totally unpredictable? The Institute of Taiwan Literature of the College of Liberal Arts held a "Scientific Taiwan--Talks about Weather Forecasting and Disaster Prevention from Taiwan Morakot" colloquium on September 18th, in which issues relating to weather forecasting and disaster prevention were widely discussed, and both the media and the general public were attracted to attend.
In order to broaden the student's perspectives, allowing them to understand Taiwan-related issues from different angles and in more depth, the Institute of Taiwan Literature specifically mapped out a curriculum on "Taiwan Research." For this semester, it launches a series of supplementary teaching activities called "Explore Taiwan," and the "Scientific Taiwan—Talks about Weather Forecasting and Disaster Prevention from Typhoon Morakot" colloquium was one of them.
The purpose of the series of scientific Taiwan courses was not only to explore science, but also to provide professional advice and services to the Taiwan society. Typhoon Morakot wrought tremendous havocs to Central and Southern Taiwan, the scale of which was tantamount to that brought by the September 21st Earthquake which took place 10 years ago. Typhoon Morakot can be said to be the worst natural disaster that happened to Taiwan within the last 50 years. Now it has been over a month since Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan, and members of the Control Yuan have started their investigations to figure out the crux of the problem, so that similar disasters can be prevented from happening again.
The said colloquium invited the Central Weather Bureau, the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction and NTU research teams to participate. The panelists talked about weather forecasting, disaster warning and response, communication of meteorological information and quantitative precipitation forecasts which are essential to the effectiveness of disaster warning.
The most serious challenges to 21st century weather forecasting are "quantitative precipitation forecasts" and "torrential rain forecasts". In the future there should be room for substantial improvement.
On the whole, typhoon and flood forecasts and warnings start with the upstream agencies. The Central Weather Bureau is in charge of national weather service, including weather observation, forecasts and warnings; the Water Resources Agency is responsible for river basin conservation and management, water reservoirs management, and prevention and relief of national floods. The Soil and Water Conservation Bureau is responsible for mudslide prevention information, emergency communications and response team operation, whereas the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction is responsible for convening meetings on the scope of the disaster and conducting disaster potential analysis. Other agencies like the Agriculture Council and National Science Council all have their respective duties. These agencies Interlock with one another, and form a disaster early warning system. Needless to say, each unit shall need stronger support from scientific research in the future.
Dr. Tzay Chyn Shin, Director of the Central Weather Bureau, said there is still much room for academic development in weather forecasting, and encouraged students of Atmospheric Sciences to continue to improve the accuracy of weather forecasting in order to benefit mankind. The colloquium hopes that the general public will remember the lessons from the August 8th Flood, and strengthen the ongoing research in related fields, such as the satellite projects to analyze the data acquired from the sea and land.