Today: World Meteorological Day and World Meteorological Organization’s 150th Anniversary

The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) 150th Anniversary takes place on March 23, 2023. The theme for this year’s day is “The future of weather, climate and water across generations”. This theme highlights past achievements, presents progress and future potential regarding meteorology, from the late 19th century telegraphs and shipping forecasts to supercomputers and space technology. The history of WMO data exchange is a story of scientific vision, technological development and a unique system of international cooperation to serve society.

The anniversary of the WMO is also a reminder of global climate change. The International Meteorological Organization, the predecessor of the WMO, was created in 1873 in an era when pollution from industrial and human activities was at its beginning. As a result of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the average global temperature is now more than 1º Celsius higher today than it was 150 years ago. Our weather is more extreme, our ocean is warmer and more acidic, sea levels have risen and glaciers and ice are melting. The rate of change is accelerating. We need urgent action now to slash emissions and to ensure that future generations can both survive and thrive in our planet.

The good news is that rapid scientific and technological advances have greatly improved the accuracy of weather forecasts and life-saving early warnings. Big data is being exchanged more freely among a wider community than ever before, and there are new tools including machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. There has been significant progress to monitor, simulate and project the global climate to support decision-making. 

Our weather, climate and water cycle will be different in future than in the past. Weather, climate and hydrological services will help us tackle the associated challenges and seize the opportunities. 

To read more on the World Meteorological Day, click here.

© 2023 World Meteorological Organization (WMO)