Policy Documents/ Standards

Policy Documents/ Standards

WMO publishes policy documents, technical regulations with annexes and guides for the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of Members.

The Technical Regulations of WMO are determined by Congress in accordance with Article 8 (d) of the Convention. These Regulations are designed to:

  1. facilitate cooperation in meteorology and hydrology between Members;
  2. meet, in the most effective manner, specific needs in the various fields of application of meteorology and operational hydrology in the international sphere; and
  3. ensure adequate uniformity and standardization in the practices and procedures employed in achieving (1) and (2) above.

Annexes to the Technical Regulations are published separately and contain regulatory material having the status of standard and/or recommended practices and procedures.The Related Guides describe practices, procedures and specifications, which Members are invited to follow or implement. The guides are updated, as necessary, in the light of scientific and technological developments in hydrometeorology, climatology and their applications. The WMO technical commissions are responsible for the selection of material to be included in the guides. Recommendations for amendments made by an appropriate technical commission are subject to the approval of the Executive Council.

Policy Documents

Basic Document No. 1 (WMO-No. 15)

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Agreements and Working Arrangements (WMO-No. 60)
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Memorandums of Understanding
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Resolutions of Congress and the Executive Council (WMO-No. 508)
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Geneva declaration (Cg-XIII, Annex IV) 
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EC statement on the role and operation of NMHSs (EC-LVII, Annex VII) 
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WMO statement on the role and operation of NMHSs for Directors (Cg-XVI, Annex to paragraph 11.7.1 of the General Summary) 
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Guidelines on the Role, Operation And Management of the National Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Services (NMS)
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Cg-XVII Statement (Annex XV of the summary report)
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Standards (Technical Regulations)

Technical Regulations (WMO Publication No. 49)

Volume I: General Meteorological Standards and Recommended Practices: This volume contains the regulations of the World Weather Watch; climatology; meteorological services for marine activities, agriculture and environmental pollution; meteorological bibliography and publications; education and training; units and procedures used in international meteorological research programmes and during special observational periods. Read more...

Volume II: Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation: These regulations, agreed upon with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), cover the basic obligations for the provision of meteorological services to international air navigation. Read more...

Volume III: Hydrology: This volume contains definitions of technical terms, a classification of hydrological observing stations, and guidance on the establishment of networks of these stations, their identification, observing programmes, equipment and methods of observation. It also contains a chapter on meteorological services for hydrology. Read more...

Annexes

​International Cloud Atlas (WMO Publication No. 407), Volume I – Manual on the Observation of Clouds and Other Meteors

Volume I contains a descriptive and explanatory text concerning the general classification of meteors (Part I), clouds (Part II) and meteors other than clouds (Part III).

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Manual on Codes (WMO Publication No. 306), Volume I

Volume I contains WMO international codes for meteorological data and other geophysical data relating to meteorology; it constitutes Annex II of the WMO Technical Regulations and, therefore, has the status of a Technical Regulation. It is issued in two volumes: Volume I.1, containing Part A, and Volume I.2, containing Part B and Part C.

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Manual on the Global Telecommunication System (WMO Publication No. 386), Volume I

A manual intended to facilitate cooperation in meteorological telecommunications between Members; to specify obligations of Members in the implementation of the World Weather Watch Global Telecommunication System; and to ensure uniformity and standardization in the practices and procedures employed in achieving these.

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Manual on the Global Data-processing and Forecasting System (WMO Publication No. 485)

This manual is designed to facilitate cooperation in data-processing and forecasting among Members; to specify obligations of Members in the implementation of the World Weather Watch (WWW) Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS); and to ensure adequate uniformity and standardization in the practices and procedures employed in achieving these.

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Manual on the Global Observing System (WMO Publication No. 544), Volume I

This manual is designed to facilitate cooperation in observations between Members; to specify obligations of Members in the implementation of the World Weather Watch Global Observing System; and to ensure adequate uniformity and standardization of the practices and procedures employed in achieving these. It constitutes Annex V to the WMO Technical Regulations.

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Manual on Marine Meteorological Services (WMO Publication No. 558), Volume I

This manual is designed to facilitate cooperation in respect of the international coordination of marine meteorological services (MMS); to specify obligations of Members in the implementation of MMS; and to ensure uniformity in the practices and procedures employed in achieving these. It also aims to facilitate the development of adequate support from World Weather Watch (WWW) to MMS.

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Manual on the WMO Information System (WMO Publication No. 1060)

This manual is designed to ensure adequate uniformity and standardization of data, information and communications practices, procedures and specifications employed among World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Members in the operation of the WMO Information System (WIS) as it supports the mission of the Organization. The Manual sets out standard practices, procedures and specifications (distinguished by the term shall) having the status of requirements in a technical resolution that WMO Members are required to follow or implement in accordance with Article 9 of the Convention. The Manual also sets out recommended practices, procedures and specifications (distinguished by the term should) with which Members are urged to comply.

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Manual on the Implementation of Education and Training Standards in Meteorology and Hydrology (WMO Publication No. 1083), Volume I

This manual is intended to facilitate a common understanding of the basic qualifications being required of individuals who are to be recognized either as Meteorologists or as Meteorological Technicians, as defined by World Meteorological Organization (WMO), while also assisting National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in establishing their respective personnel classification systems and training programmes to satisfactorily meet international standards.

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Related Guides

Guide to Meteorological Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO guide), WMO Publication No. 8

The first edition of this guide was published in 1954 […] This fully revised Seventh Edition includes new topics and chapters, reflecting recent technological developments. Its purpose, as with the previous editions, is to give comprehensive and up-to-date guidance on the most effective practices for carrying out meteorological observations and measurements.

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Guide to Climatological Practices, WMO Publication No. 100

This guide is designed to assist World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Members in developing national activities linked to climate information and services.

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Guide to Agricultural Meteorological Practices (GAMP), WMO Publication No. 134

The 2010 Edition of this guide has been completely revised and updated. It provides information regarding the most important practices and procedures in agricultural meteorology.

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Guide to Hydrological Practices, WMO Publication No. 168

This comprehensive guide provides practicing hydrologists with handy access to state-of-the-art and reliable information on hydrological practices, from simple discharge measurement to modeling complex hydrological systems. It was first published in 1965 and has been regularly updated since to reflect the evolving needs of, and practices employed by, the National Hydrological Services and other professionals working in water related fields. 

Volume. I: Hydrology – From Measurement to Hydrological Information

Volume. II: Management of Water Resources and Applications of Hydrological Practices

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Guide on the Global Data-Processing System (GDPS) No. 305

Contains brief descriptions of many methods and techniques used in data processing for weather analysis and forecasting in both middle and tropical latitudes. Included are chapters on real-time and non-real-time functions, numerical methods, methods of analysis and forecasting in the tropics, and quality-control procedures.

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Guide to Marine Meteorological Services, WMO Publication No. 471

Guidance is provided on the various marine meteorological services available. These include the usual services (marine climatology, weather bulletins for shipping and coastal storm warnings) and various new services that have been developed in connection with scientific and operational aspects of marine activities over the past few years. The guide was designed to assist Members in the further development of their national programmes in this field.

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Guide to the Global Observing System, WMO Publication No. 488

The main purpose of this guide is to provide practical information on the development, organization, implementation and operation of the Global Observing System in order to enhance both the participation of individual Members in the System and the benefits they may obtain from it. The Guide explains and describes Global Observing System practices, procedures and specifications and is aimed at assisting the technical and administrative staff of National Meteorological Services responsible for the networks of observing stations in preparing national instructions for observers.

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Guide to the WMO Information System (WIS), WMO Publication No. 1061

In conjunction with the Manual on WIS,  this guide is designed to ensure adequate uniformity and standardization in the data, information, and communications practices, procedures and specifications employed among WMO Members in the operation of WIS as it supports the mission of WMO.

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Guide on the Automation of Data-Processing Centres, WMO Publication No. 636

Provides advice to National Meteorological Services (particularly small services) envisaging the automation of all or some of their data-processing facilities or expanding automation. General guidelines are presented for decision-makers on what to automate and how to do so, including securing the necessary financial resources. Other aspects covered include system design, installation and maintenance and contractual and personnel considerations. Configuration examples are given.

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Guide to Wave Analysis and Forecasting, WMO Publication No. 702

This publication is the outcome of the revision, expansion and up-dating of the 1988 Handbook on Wave Analysis and Forecasting, a key element of the Wave Programme of the WMO Commission for Marine Meteorology. It is designed to enhance the provision of up-to-date information and guidance material on all aspects of the ocean-related activities of National Meteorological Services. It introduces new material on wave-measurement techniques, wave statistics and shallow-water effects and also considerably expands the material on numerical wave modeling.

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Guide on Meteorological Observing and Information Distribution Systems for Aviation Weather Services, WMO Publication No. 731

This guide encourages the adoption of WMO/ICAO standards where applicable. It takes into account the cost of provision of observation compared with measurable benefits likely to be derived from a particular application.

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Guide to Practices for Meteorological Offices Serving Aviation, WMO Publication No. 732

This guide describes the routine operations of a meteorological office and highlights how to ensure customer satisfaction. It also covers the broad functions of a meteorological office serving aviation, the functions of a meteorological watch office, automation and centralization, training of aeronautical meteorological personnel, and the location and layout of offices.

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Guide to the Applications of Marine Climatology, WMO Publication No. 781

Complementary to the Guide to Climatological Practices (WMO-No. 100), this guide provides both a source text and reference book for techniques already in standard use in the processing of marine climatological data, which are primarily meteorological and oceanographic observations made by ships in the WMO Voluntary Observing Ships scheme. The guide also describes in detail the diverse applications of such data in the service of the marine user community.

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Guide on World Weather Watch Data Management, WMO Publication No. 788

This guide provides a clear statement of World Weather Watch (WWW) data management requirements and how they can best be met in the long-term; its information documenting concepts and principles; technical information on those data management issues for which clear direction is presently not given by existing WMO statements of specifications, regulations, etc; and a technical record of the strategic direction being taken in WWW data management. The Commission for Basic Systems will keep the guide under review in order to ensure its updating and expansion as necessary.

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Guide to Public Weather Services Practices, WMO Publication No. 834

This expanded and more comprehensive edition stresses the concept of user-focused service provision and delivery. The accompanying CD-ROM incorporates numerous examples of products from National Meteorological Services. The CD-ROM complements the guide by providing additional material to assist Members with improving their national public weather service programmes.

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Guide to Storm Surge Forecasting, WMO Publication No. 1076

This Guide is designed to provide the relevant technical advice and guideance for the storm surge foreast services for a wide range of maritime and coastal activities; in particular for coastal defense, shipping, fisheries, offshore, mining, commerce, coastal engineering, construction and recreation; among others.

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Guide to the Implementation of a Quality Management System for National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, WMO Publication No. 1100

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on how to develop and implement a quality management system (QMS) to ensure and enhance the quality of products and services provided by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs). It also details the steps needed to obtain certification of compliance of an organization’s QMS with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard ISO 9001:2008, Quality management system – Requirements (ISO 9001). The Guide is based on the significant practical experience gained during the development and implementation of QMSs by a variety of organizations combined with the collective wisdom of the resource material available from NMHSs with mature QMSs and organizations such as ISO. 

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