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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: World Meteorological Organization

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WMO flag

WMO flag

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) (French: Organisation météorologique mondiale (OMM) ; Spanish: Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM) ; Chinese language: 世界氣象組織 ; Russian: Всемирная Метеорологическая Организация; Arabic: المنظمة العالمية للأرصاد الجوية) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 188 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The current president is Alexander Bedritsky and the current Secretary-General is Michel Jarraud, elected by the 14th World Meteorological Congress held in 2003.



The organization’s aims are:

  • To facilitate worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for making meteorological observations as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology, and to promote the establishment and maintenance of centers charged with the provision of meteorological and related services;
  • To promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for the rapid exchange of meteorological and related information;
  • To promote standardization of meteorological and related observations and to ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics;
  • To further the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, agriculture and other human activities;
  • To promote activities in operational hydrology and to further close co-operation between Meteorological and hydrological Services;
  • To encourage research and training in meteorology and, as appropriate, in related fields, and to assist in coordinating the international aspects of such research and training.

The WMO Member countries have a Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) meeting every two years, in which new recommended code changes, telecommunication protocol recommendations, and Abbreviated Heading Table updates are approved. After approval these changes are entered into the WMO codes manual 306 and 386. The last meeting of CBS was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

One of the more visible functions of the WMO is the naming of tropical cyclones.

The WMO helped create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is also directly responsible for the creation of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW).

Meteorological Codes

In keeping with its mandate to promote the standardization of meteorological observations, the WMO maintains numerous code forms for the representation and exchange of meteorological, oceanographical, and hydrological data. The traditional code forms, such as SYNO and TEMP, are character-based and their coding is position-based. Newer WMO code forms are designed for portability, extensibility and universality. These are BUFR, CREX, and, for gridded geo-positioned data, GRIB.

World Meteorological Day

  • World Meteorological Day is held annually on March 23.

Awards and prizes

International Meteorological Organization Prize

Professor Dr. Vilho Väisälä Award

Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award

WMO Research Award for Young Scientists

Embezzlement scandal

The WMO is being investigated by Swiss authorities over allegations of vote-buying in its election process. Swiss prosecuters are investigating whether delegates at the WMO received payments from former employee, Muhammad Hassan, to sway the outcome of the 2003 election. Hassan, a Sudanese national, served as chief of the fellowship program in WMO’s training department and is suspected of stealing $3.5 million from the WMO. [1]

See also

  • Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR)
  • Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP)
This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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