forecast demonstrations organized by the World Meteorological Organization.
Forecasting rain is going to be very important. Something like 60% of the days in August, it rains in Beijing. But it's going to be hard to forecast that rain.
- China is deploying new S-band radars (i.e . very good ones), but as in India (where I visited a couple of installations as part of a USAID project this year), the radars are placed right in the middle of cities. The way these radars work, there is a huge blind spot right above the radar, which means there will be poor to non-existent radar data right over Beijing.
- The topography around Beijing is challenging in other ways for radar siting. There are mountains just to the west. The radar beam will be blocked by those mountains, so the radar can not see very far to the west.
- The climatology does not help either. Storms initiate on the mountains immediately to the west of Beijing and drop all their rain. Nowcasting thunderstorms depends heavily on extrapolation but there will be nothing to extrapolate.