World Meteorological Organization

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World Meteorological Organization
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
World Meteorological Organization Logo.svg
Formation23 March 1950;70 years ago (1950-03-23)
Type United Nations specialized agency
Legal statusActive
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Gerhard Adrian, Germany
since 2019
Petteri Taalas, Finland [1]
since 2016
Parent organization
United Nations Economic and Social Council
A coloured voting box.svg Politicsportal

The World Meteorological Organization(WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. The President of the World Meteorological Congress, its supreme body, is Gerhard Adrian [2] as a successor of David Grimes. The organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. [3]


It followed on from the International Meteorological Organization, founded in 1873, [4] a non-governmental organization. Reforms of status and structure were proposed from the 1930s, culminating in the World Meteorological Convention signed on 11 October 1947 which came into force on 23 March 1950. It formally became the World Meteorological Organization on 17 March 1951, and was designated as a specialized agency of the United Nations. [5]

The organization

WMO has a membership of 193 Member States and Territories as of May 2019. [6] The Convention of the World Meteorological Organization was signed 11 October 1947 and established upon ratification on 23 March 1950.

The WMO hierarchy:

The annually published WMO Statements on the status of the World Climate provides details of global, regional and national temperatures and extreme weather events. It also provides information on long-term climate change indicators including atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, sea level rise, and sea ice extent. The year 2016 was the hottest year on record, with many weather and climate extremes, according to the most recent WMO report. [8]

WMO Strategic Plan

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 SYNOP, CLIMAT 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.[ citation needed ]

Recognitions received

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) jointly created by WMO and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) received the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about anthropogenic (man-made) climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." [9]

World Meteorological Day

WMO headquarters in Geneva shared with the IPCC and the Group on Earth Observations WMO Zeneva.jpg
WMO headquarters in Geneva shared with the IPCC and the Group on Earth Observations

The World Meteorological Day is held annually on 23 March. [10]

Use of the International System of Units

WMO states that "the International System of Units (SI) should be used as the system of units for the evaluation of meteorological elements included in reports for international exchange." [11] The following units, which include units which are not SI units, are recommended by the WMO for meteorological observations:

Main public outreach materials

WMO awards and prizes


As of May 2019, WMO Members include a total of 187 Member States and 6 Member Territories. [17]

Ten United Nations member states are not members of WMO: Equatorial Guinea, Grenada, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and San Marino. Cook Islands and Niue are WMO Members but non-members of the United Nations. Vatican City and State of Palestine and the states with limited recognition are not members of either organization.

The six WMO Member Territories are the British Caribbean Territories (joint meteorological organization and membership), [17] French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Macau, Curaçao and Sint Maarten (joint meteorological service and membership) [17] and New Caledonia. (List of all members with admission dates.)

Membership by regional associations

The member states of the World Meteorological Organization divided into the six regional associations, shown on a world map WMO Regions.PNG
The member states of the World Meteorological Organization divided into the six regional associations, shown on a world map

Region I (Africa)

Region I consists of the states of Africa and a few former colonial powers. Region I has 57 member states and no member territories: [18]

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini [19]
  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • Gabon
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Portugal
  • Rwanda
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


  • Equatorial Guinea

Region II (Asia)

Region II has 33 member states and 2 member territories. The member states are: [20]

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • People's Republic of China
  • India
  • Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Viet Nam
  • Yemen

The member territories are:

  • Hong Kong
  • Macau

Region III (South America)

Region III consists of the states of South America, including France as French Guiana is an overseas region of France. It has a total of 13 member states and no member territories: [21]

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia, Plurinational State of
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

Region IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean)

Region IV consists of the states of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, including three European states with dependencies within the region. It has a total of 25 member states and 2 member territories. The member states are: [22]

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • France
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Saint Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

The two member territories are:


  • Grenada
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Region V (South-West Pacific)

Region V consists of 21 member states and 2 member territories. The member states are: [23]

  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Indonesia
  • Kiribati
  • Malaysia
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Niue
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Samoa
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Vanuatu

The Cook Islands and Niue (both are in free association with New Zealand)

The member territories are:

  • French Polynesia
  • New Caledonia


  • Marshall Islands
  • Palau

Region VI (Europe)

Region VI consists consist of all the states in Europe as well as some Western Asia. It has 50 member states: [24]

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia [25]
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


  • Liechtenstein
  • San Marino

States with membership in more than one region

A total of ten member states have membership in more than one region. Two nations are members to four different regions, while eight are members of two regions. These nations, with their regions, are as follows:

  • France (Regions I, III, IV, and VI)
  • United Kingdom (Regions I, IV, V, and VI)
  • Colombia (Regions III and IV)
  • Kazakhstan (Regions II and VI)
  • Netherlands (Regions IV and VI)
  • Portugal (Regions I and VI)
  • Russian Federation (Regions II and VI)
  • Spain (Regions I and VI)
  • United States of America (Regions IV and V)
  • Venezuela (Regions III and IV)

See also

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  18. "Members of Regional Association I (Africa)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  19. As Swaziland until 2018.
  20. "Members of Regional Association II (Asia)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  21. "Members of Regional Association III (South America)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  22. "Members of Regional Association IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  23. "Members of Regional Association V (South-West Pacific)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  24. "Members of Regional Association IV (Europe)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  25. Under the provisional designation "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" until 2019.