The World Meteorological Organization is an inter-governmental organization that comprises 185
Member States and Territories. WMO was created in 1950 as the successor to the International Meteorological Organization that had been in place since 1873 .
As a specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related sciences, WMO provides the authoritative scientific voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere and its interaction with ocean areas, on resulting climate and its influence on the distribution of water resources. WMO is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Purposes of WMO
WMO' principal purpose is :
to coordinate the activities of its members with respect to production and exchange of information on weather, water, and climate in conformity with international standardized norms, to promote international qualifications for training in meteorology;
and also to contribute to the safety and quality of life and the socio-economic development of nations.
Importance of WMO
Weather and climate do not recognize national borders, and international cooperation is more than necessary for the development of meteorology and operational hydrology. This is certainly true for the present and the future.
About three quarters of natural disasters have a meteorological origin.
WMO's programs provide valuable information on forecasting and early warnings and, thanks to disaster preparedness, they minimize destruction and loss of life and thus preserve the environment.
There is solid evidence that, besides their countless advantages with respect to security and the quality of life, meteorological and hydrological services also have a positive economic impact, and the ratio of investment to gains can be as high as one to ten .
Organization of WMO
Representatives of Member States attend the World Meteorological Congress which meets every four years to determine policies and future orientations.
The Executive Council, composed of thirty-six directors of national meteorological and hydrological services, is in charge of the implementation of Congress resolutions and
Members are grouped in six regional associations to coordinate activities within their Region.
WMO has eight technical commissions of eminent international experts responsible for: aeronautical meteorology; agricultural meteorology; atmospheric sciences; basic systems; climatology; hydrology; instruments and methods of observation; and marine meteorology.
WMO owes the success of its actions to the activities of its members and the coordination of a Secretariat of 250 permanent staff headed by the Secretary-General who is appointed by the World Meteorological Congress.