Space Weather encompasses the physical and phenomenological state of the natural space environment, including the Sun, the solar wind, the magnetosphere, the ionosphere and the thermosphere, and its interaction with the Earth. The associated discipline aims, through observation, monitoring, analysis, and modelling, at understanding the driving processes, predicting the state of the space environment and its disturbances, and forecasting their potential impact on ground-based or space-based infrastructure and on human life. The effects of Space Weather can range from damage to satellites arising from charged particles to disruption of power grids on Earth during geomagnetic storms, radio black-out on trans-polar aircraft routes, or disturbance of satellite positioning systems. Space Weather monitoring, study and applications are more and more important with the increasing use of space in day-to-day life for telecommunications, observation and navigation.
The WMO Executive Council in 2008 (EC-LX) noted the considerable impact of Space Weather on meteorological infrastructure and important human activities and acknowledged the potential synergy between meteorological and Space Weather services to operational users. The World Meteorological Congress (Cg-16) acknowledged the need for a coordinated effort by WMO Members to protect the society against the global hazards of Space Weather. The requirements for space weather services to international air traffic navigation were discussed at the conjoint session of the WMO Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) and the Meteorological Division of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in July 2014. In May 2015, a four-year work plan for space weather was prepared and the World Meteorological Congress (Cg-17) agreed that WMO should undertake global coordination of operational space weather activities under the guidance of the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) and the Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology. The Interprogramme Coordination Team on Space Weather (ICTSW) currently (September 2015) involves experts from 26 different countries and 7 international organizations.
- Space Weather Observational Requirements (Initial version, July 2011)
- Space Weather Product Portal (Initial version, February 2012)
- Statement of Guidance for Space Weather Observations (May 2012)
- Four-year plan for WMO Coordination of Space Weather Activities (2015)