Meteorology has made significant progress in the quality and diversity of services since the launch of the World Weather Watch (WWW). Further progress depends on upgrading the global space-and surface-based observing systems and on adopting a new and integrated approach that optimizes knowledge and better exploits observational data. This is the promise of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), which will supersede WWW. WIGOS will contribute to an enhanced understanding of our Earth System and facilitate the production of weather and climate services and products into the 21st Century.
The large Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) centres around the world use up to 80 million satellite observations per day within the framework of WWW, but climate predictions will require much more. A Strategy for Architecture for Climate Monitoring from Space introduces a framework for the sustained and coordinated monitoring of Earth’s climate from space in order to provide more and higher quality observational data. While the Cascading Process to Improve Forecasting and Warning Services describes a WMO project that is bringing NWP advances in the leading meteorological centres to all countries, including developing and least developed countries.
WWW programmes, such as the Public Weather Services Programme, the Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, Education and Training Programme and many others, build on the synergies in the WWW network of national meteorological and hydrological services to hone and improve skills and weather and climate products. Public Weather Services Programme and The Hong Kong Observatory – Through science we serve highlight some of the achievements beyond observation and data sharing of national meteorological and hydrological services facilitated by the WWW programmes.
The meteorological community is rapidly advancing its capacity to manage and distribute the growing amounts of data and information generated by Global Observing System. The WMO Information System (WIS) is at the forefront of that effort. Users are the winners as WMO Information System Comes Of Age explains how the expansion and strengthening of the management and distribution of the data of WMO Members benefit all, including other WMO and international programmes who can now also share and access that data.
Other technical and scientific communities have already found solutions for processing, networking and handling massive quantities of data. Like WMO, they are tackling this challenge by taking advantage of the rise of the Internet, the accelerating power of computers, and the increasing sophistication of software. Finding a Higgs boson in a haystack looks at the case at CERN.
The recently translated “Radar for Meteorological and Atmospheric Observations“ is the subject of a book review, the last item in this issue.