What we do

What we do

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.  

National Meteorological and Hydrological Services work around the clock to provide vital weather and climate information worldwide. Their early and reliable warnings of severe weather and fluctuations in air quality as well as of climate variability and change allow decision-makers, communities and individuals to be better prepared for weather and climate events. Their warnings help save life and property, protect resources and the environment and support socio-economic growth. WMO supports National Meteorological and Hydrological Services with this work and in meeting their international commitments in the areas of disaster risk reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development. 

WMO programmes facilitate and promote:

  • the establishment of networks of observational stations to provide weather, climate and water-related data;
  • the establishment and maintenance of data management centres and telecommunication systems for the provision and rapid exchange of weather, climate and water-related data;
  • the creation of standards for observation and monitoring in order to ensure adequate uniformity in the practices and procedures employed worldwide and, thereby, ascertain the homogeneity of data and statistics;
  • the application of science and technology in operational meteorology and hydrology to aviation, transport (air, land and maritime), water resource management, agriculture and other focus areas;
  • activities in operational hydrology as well as closer cooperation between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in states and territories where they are separate; and
  • the coordination of research and training in meteorology and related fields.

Our core work

Application services

Weather, climate and water impact on agriculture and fisheries, energy, transport, health, insurance, sports, tourism and many more socio-economic sectors. WMO promotes the application of meteorological, climatological, hydrological and oceanographic information in all human activities. 

Capacity development

WMO assists in the capacity development of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services by developing and improving human resource as well as technical and institutional capacities and infrastructure, particularly in developing, least developed and small island developing states and territories.

Data exchange and technology transfer

Powerful computers in WMO centres worldwide process the data collected from tens of thousands of land and sea observation instruments and Earth-observing satellites. These data are used in numerical models based on physical laws to produce weather, climate and water-related forecasts, predictions and information products for use in daily lives and long-term decision-making.

Observations

Currently, well over 10 000 manned and automatic surface weather stations, 1 000 upper-air stations, 7 000 ships, 100 moored and 1 000 drifting buoys, hundreds of weather radars and 3 000 specially equipped commercial aircraft measure key parameters of the atmosphere, land and ocean surface every day. Add to these some 16 meteorological and 50 research satellites to get an idea of the size of the global network for meteorological, hydrological and other geophysical observations. Once collected, observations are quality-controlled, based on technical standards defined by the WMO Instruments

Research

WMO coordinates and organizes international research programmes to enhance the ability of its Members to improve weather, climate, water and environmental observations, prediction, service delivery and scientific assessments of regional and global environmental conditions.