CBS technical conference discusses future direction

CBS technical conference discusses future direction



26 March 2018

The WMO Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) is holding a special technical conference to brainstorm on future directions on data, infrastructure and service issues. This guidance is necessary because technology and science is advancing quickly, and WMO and its Members need to respond rapidly to changes in order to continue to improve weather, climate and water operations and services.

The meeting will formulate CBS input into preparing key strategic decisions – including emerging data issues and engagement with the private sector - to be made by the eighteenth World Meteorological Congress in 2019.

“It is only a matter of time before the fusion of weather, big data technologies and business applications go mainstream and change the way people and businesses view weather and water data, and experience the force-multiplying effects it will have on improving life and weather-sensitive business decisions,” said CBS President Michel Jean.

“Not only is this forcing us to rethink our business models, our recruitment and training strategies and our partnership strategies at national level, it will also have a fundamental impact on the global meteorological enterprise,” he told delegates.

Public-private partnerships

The technical conference will discuss WMO’s service delivery strategy and in particular how to adapt to the increasingly active private sector engagement. It will also seek to address the emerging issue of certain critical weather observational data available through some private providers not being shared freely with the WMO community.

WMO is seeking to promote active engagement between the public and private sectors and all stakeholders to successfully manage and participate in the global weather enterprise. Its Public Private Partnership (PPP) strategy is exploring and considering pathways for coordinated development between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and private sectors

Infrastructure for Earth System Prediction

WMO is striving towards enhanced Earth System Observations and Prediction. The long term outcome is foreseen to be (i) an integrated Earth system observational network increasingly automated and optimized to ensure effective global coverage; and (ii) high quality fit-for-purpose measurements feeding a continuous global data exchange underpinned by data management and data processing mechanisms.

This aims to:

  • Optimize the acquisition of observation data through the WMO Integrated Global Observing System. All in-situ and space-based observing programmes of WMO are being consolidated in a single integrated system, the WIGOS, which will be operational in 2020.
  • Improve and increase access to, exchange and management of current and past observation data and derived products through the WMO Information System


  • Enable access and use of numerical analysis and prediction products at all temporal and spatial scales from the WMO Global Data Processing and Forecast System. This aims to enhance forecasting capabilities of major weather patterns, tropical cyclones and small-scale extreme weather events with high impacts.


Capacity development

Capacity development is one of WMO’s priority areas. The CBS technical conference is a useful platform for both developing and developed countries to get knowledge and understanding of new trends of technologies and their implications for NMHSs’ operational development. It also helps the organization to understand the need for capacity building from Members and facilitates technology transfer from developed countries to the developing ones.

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