Sci-Tech | Mar 24

Visual Weather Observations to Cease Across Japan

TOKYO, Mar 24 (News On Japan) - The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) will end its practice of visual weather observations across the country, except in Tokyo and Osaka, from March 26.

The JMA has been conducting visual observations every three hours since the Meiji era.

An observer explains, "First, we look across the sky to determine how much cloud cover there is. We regularly observe the amount of clouds, the visibility range, and special phenomena like yellow sand."

While basic observations will shift to automated systems, certain assessments deemed challenging for machines, such as the degree of clear skies, types and amounts of clouds, and distinguishing between hail and sleet, will end.

JMA retirees welcome the maintenance of observation accuracy but express regret over the interruption of records.

Takeshi Furukawa, a retired JMA observer, says, "No two weather events are the same; they always differ. Recording them allows for future analysis of why they occurred. If possible, it’s crucial to continue documenting... While it's regrettable, the information from current automated observations is highly accurate. There's no problem in using it comprehensively."

The JMA intends to continue visual observations in Tokyo and Osaka as part of its personnel training, leveraging human experience to verify the validity of machine-based judgments.

Source: ANN


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