In today’s complex and rapidly changing world, the need for well trained and highly skilled meteorologists, climatologists and hydrologists has become more crucial than ever before. Recognizing this, the WMO Executive Council, which is holding its annual meeting this week in Geneva, is considering a set of decisions to strengthen collaboration and investment in this vital area.
These decisions focus on aligning priorities for meteorological education and training more closely with the WMO Strategic Plan 2016 – 2019, enhancing cooperation through initiatives such as study tours and bilateral and multilateral projects, encouraging countries to increase their support to WMO Regional Training Centres, and providing further guidance on the awarding of WMO fellowships and sponsorships.
Meanwhile, to raise awareness of the need for more training and education in the fields of weather, climate and water, WMO has launched a new animation describing how meteorologists, climatologists and hydrologists contribute to society. The video summarizes many of the more detailed explanations contained in the WMO booklet “A Career in Meteorology.” It is now available in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
“Why the World Needs Meteorologists” explores the many benefits that meteorologists provide: policy-makers integrate high-quality forecasts and advice into national planning and decision-making; the shipping and air transport industries rely on forecasts to maximize efficiency and reduce risks; farmers use weather and climate information to plan optimal timing for planting and harvesting of crops based on seasonal conditions; and the public health sector uses weather and climate forecasts to predict outbreaks of air- and waterborne diseases and issuing early warnings when a dangerous storm or flood threatens to harm people and damage property.
The range of knowledge and skills required by meteorologists has grown immensely. Not only do they need to keep up with advancing science and relevant technologies, but some also need highly specialized knowledge, such as how to translate raw data into maps and charts for specialised uses. More and more, meteorologists need to be able to communicate the potential impact of weather, climate and water hazards in the most timely and practical manner possible to a wide variety of users.
Meteorologists and hydrologists work for a great variety of employers – from national weather services and research institutes, to private companies, airports, police agencies, and more. This requires that they also have a full understanding of the specific sector they are serving.
More information about WMO’s Education and Training activities is available here.