World Meteorological Organization

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World Meteorological Organization
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
World Meteorological Organization Logo.svg
Formation23 March 1950;69 years ago (1950-03-23)
Type United Nations specialised agency
Legal statusActive
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg David Grimes
Parent organization
United Nations Economic and Social Council
UN emblem blue.svg United Nationsportal

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 192 Member States and Territories. Its current Secretary-General is Petteri Taalas [1] and the President of the World Meteorological Congress, its supreme body, is David Grimes. [2] The Organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

An intergovernmental organization or international governmental organisation (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states, or of other intergovernmental organizations. Intergovernmental organizations are called international organizations, although that term may also include international non-governmental organization such as international nonprofit organizations or multinational corporations.

Petteri Taalas Secretary General of WMO, Director General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, professor

Petteri Taalas is the Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Appointed in 2015 by the World Meteorological Congress, the supreme body of the Organization, he took up the four-year Secretary-General term on 1 January 2016. He was director general of the Finnish Meteorological Institute from 2002 to 2005 and 2007 to 2015.

David Grimes (meteorologist) meteorologist

David Grimes is a career meteorologist who studied mathematics and nuclear and quantum physics at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. He has been assistant deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada in charge of the Meteorological Service of Canada since July 2006. In 2011, he was elected president of the World Meteorological Organization by its 189 members, succeeding Alexander Bedritskiy of Russia.


It followed on from the International Meteorological Organization, founded in 1873, [3] 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. [4]

The International Meteorological Organization was the first organization formed with the purpose of exchanging weather information among the countries of the world. It came into existence from the realization that weather systems move across country boundaries; and that knowledge of pressure, temperature, precipitations, etc. upstream and downstream is needed for weather forecasting. It was superseded by the World Meteorological Organization

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was established after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars, and succeeded the ineffective League of Nations. Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in Manhattan, New York City, and it has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and the Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

The organization

WMO has a membership of 192 Member States and Territories as of April 2019. [5] 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. [7]

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 ]

SYNOP is a numerical code used for reporting weather observations made by manned and automated weather stations. SYNOP reports are typically sent every six hours by Deutscher Wetterdienst on shortwave and low frequency using RTTY. A report consists of groups of numbers describing general weather information, such as the temperature, barometric pressure and visibility at a weather station. It can be decoded by open-source software such as seaTTY, metaf2xml or Fldigi.

CLIMAT is a code for reporting monthly climatological data assembled at land-based meteorological surface observation sites to data centres. CLIMAT-coded messages contain information on several meteorological variables that are important to monitor characteristics, changes, and variability of climate. Usually these messages are sent and exchanged via the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Modifications of the CLIMAT code are the CLIMAT SHIP and CLIMAT TEMP / CLIMAT TEMP SHIP codes which serve to report monthly climatological data assembled at ocean-based meteorological surface observation sites and at land-/ocean-based meteorological upper-air observation sites, respectively. The monthly values included usually are obtained by averaging observational values of one or several daily observations over the respective month.

TEMP is a set of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) alphanumerical codes used for reporting weather observations of the upper regions of the atmosphere made by weather balloons released from the surface level. The WMO designates the FM-35 numerical code for surface TEMPs and the FM-36 numerical code for ship-based TEMPs.

Recognitions received

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

Main public outreach materials

WMO awards and prizes


As of March 2019, WMO Members include a total of 186 Member States and 6 Member Territories. [15]

Ten United Nations member states are not members of WMO: Equatorial Guinea, Grenada, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Nauru, 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 organisation and membership), [15] French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Macau, Curaçao and Sint Maarten (joint meteorological service and membership) [15] 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: [16]


Region II (Asia)

Region II has 33 member states and 2 member territories. The member states are: [18]

The member territories are:

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: [19]

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: [20]

Region V (South-West Pacific)

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

Region VI (Europe)

Region VI consists consist of all the states in Europe as well as some Western Asia. It has 50 member states: [22]

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:

See also

Notes and references

  1. Taalas, Petteri (1916). "Secretary-General". WMO. World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  2. Grimes, David. "President". WMO. World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  3. "Who we are". World Meteorological Organization. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  4. "History of WMO". World Meteorological Organization. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  6. WMO Strategic Plan Archived 10 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "IPCC Nobel Peace Prize". Nobel Prize Committee. 12 October 2007. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  9. "World Meteorological Day". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  10. "International Meteorological Organization (IMO) Prize". World Meteorological Organization. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  11. "Professor Dr Vilho Väisälä Awards". World Meteorological Organization. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  12. "Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award". World Meteorological Organization. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  13. "WMO Research Award for Young Scientists". World Meteorological Organization. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  14. "Professor Mariolopoulos Award". World Meteorological Organization. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  15. 1 2 3 "WMO - Members". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  16. "Members of Regional Association I (Africa)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  17. As Swaziland until 2018.
  18. "Members of Regional Association II (Asia)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  19. "Members of Regional Association III (South America)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  20. "Members of Regional Association IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  21. "Members of Regional Association V (South-West Pacific)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  22. "Members of Regional Association IV (Europe)". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  23. Under the provisional designation "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" until 2019.

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