Weather

Weather

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Weather forecasts are on phones, television, computers...we need them to plan our day or simply to know what to wear. They provide essential information for planting and harvesting crop,  for selecting routes over land, sea and air, for building roads and infrastructure, for making preparations against impending natural hazards, and for much more. WMO coordinates the worldwide efforts that are prerequisite for the production of accurate and timely weather forecasts.

Weather forecasts require observations of our environment around the clock and around the world. The bulk of those observations are carried out by National Meteorological Services as part of the WMO World Weather Watch, which networks the observing stations to national, regional and global weather and climate prediction centres 24 hours a day in real-time. The World Weather Watch collects meteorological, climatological, hydrological and oceanographic data from over 15 satellites, 100 moored buoys, 600 drifting buoys, 3 000 aircraft, 7 300 ships and some 10 000 land-based observation stations. This data has to be comparable and up to standards in order to be usable by the prediction centres in the numerical weather prediction models that produce daily weather forecasts and early warnings for natural hazards such as hurricanes. Thus, the World Weather Watch also produces the standards for measurement of the data collected.

But national, regional and global weather and climate prediction centres produce much more than your daily forecast. Their powerful computers use mathematical models – numerical weather prediction models – based on physical laws to produce charts, digital products, weather and air-quality forecasts, climate predictions, risk assessments and early warning services. Meteorological satellites broadcast this real-time weather information several times a day to over 1 000 locations.

In this way, WMO Members are enabled to provide reliable and effective weather services to protect lives and property as well as for the general welfare and well-being of their populations. Weather knows no national boundaries and the work carried out by meteorologists, often behind the scenes for our benefit and safety, is very much a team effort.

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Frequently Asked Questions

WMO/Weather/FAQ

FAQs - Weather

For frequently asked questions on Weather, visit our FAQs - Weather page.