News / Press releases

January-June 2015 hottest on record: NOAA
21 July 2015

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for January to June 2015, as well as for the month of June, was the hottest such period on record, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The average temperature for the six-month period was 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F), surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). The average global sea surface temperature of +0.65°C (+1.17°F) for the year-to-date was the highest for January–June on record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). The average land surface temperature of +1.40°C (2.52°F) was also record high, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.13°C (0.23°F), according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Third Pacific Meteorological Council opens in Tonga
20 July 2015

The Third Pacific Meteorological Council opened in the Kingdom of Tonga today bringing together over 100 Pacific Met Directors, partners and stakeholders to strengthen the path ahead for Pacific Meteorology under the theme - “Sustainable Weather and Climate Services for a Resilient Pacific.” This event reaches a historic milestone in that it will be followed by the very first Pacific Ministers Meeting on Meteorology. “Our capacity to manage natural hazard impacts and bounce back and improve our development pathways through timely and accurate weather, climate and water services makes it necessary to improve the capacities of National Meteorology and Hydrological Services in the Pacific region,” said the Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga as he opened the four day event.“There is an urgent need to improve infrastructure and human resources to enable National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to make the most of advances in science and technology to improve weather, climate water and related environmental services.”

The aim of the PMC is to help coordinate facilitation of meterological services in support of development agendas, contributing to the strengthening of community resilience.  It will also discuss ways to continue to implement the Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy.

Year of Polar Prediction Takes Shape
16 July 2015

An international action plan to improve predictions of weather, climate and ice conditions in Polar regions has been agreed in an effort to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities associated with rapid changes in the Arctic and Antarctic environments.

A conference from 13-15 July, which grouped operational weather and climate prediction centres, environmental experts, researchers, funding agencies and the shipping and tourist sectors, finalized plans for a Year of Polar Prediction. This will take place from mid-2017 to mid-2019 (in order to cover an entire year in both the Arctic and Antarctic) and will seek to accelerate and consolidate research, observing, modelling, verification and educational activities as part of a wider Polar Prediction Project.

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WMO welcomes new generation of meteorological satellites
16 July 2015

WMO welcomes the advent of a new generation of geostationary meteorological satellites, which will make a major contribution to weather prediction and prevention and mitigated of weather-related disasters.

The Himawari-8 geostationary meteorological satellite managed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) began operation at 02 UTC on 7 July 2015, replacing the previous MTSAT-2 operational satellite. The true-color composite imagery at 02 UTC captured three typhoons in the Pacific.

WMO seeks to improve polar prediction
9 July 2015

Rapid changes in the Arctic and Antarctic environments, which impact on the whole globe, have prompted a concerted international drive to improve weather and climate service delivery for polar regions.

The World Meteorological Organization hosts a conference from 13 to 15 July to finalize plans for a Year of Polar Prediction which will seek to accelerate and consolidate research, observing, modeling, verification and educational activities as part of a wider Polar Prediction Project.

7 July 2015

A major scientific conference “Our Common Future under Climate Change” opened on 7 July in Paris at the height of an intense, extensive and long-lasting European heatwave, which is consistent with the expected impacts of global warming.

The four-day conference is the largest scientific forum ahead of the climate change negotiations due to take place in Paris in December 2015. It addresses key issues concerning climate change in the broader context of global change and focusses on moving from present knowledge to future solutions.

Widespread Heatwave Affects Europe, Wildfires in North America
3 July 2015

Many parts of Europe have been impacted by a severe and unusually early heatwave since 27 June.  There have been record-breaking temperatures in the United States of America, with wildfires in both Canada and the USA. Southern China has been gripped by high heat accompanied by torrential downpours and widespread flooding.

These are the highlights of a roundup by the World Meteorological Organization of some of the extreme weather events currently taking place in the Northern Hemisphere.

WMO, WHO Issue Guidance on Heat-Health Warning Systems
1 July 2015

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have issued new joint guidance on Heat–Health Warning Systems to address the health risks posed by heatwaves, which are becoming more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change.

“Heatwaves are a dangerous natural hazard, and one that requires increased attention,” said Maxx Dilley, Director of WMO’s Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch, and Maria Neira, Director of WHO’s Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “They lack the spectacular and sudden violence of other hazards, such as tropical cyclones or flash floods but the consequences can be severe.”

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30 June 2015

A new WMO publication Seamless Prediction of the Earth System: From Minutes to Months provides a consolidated road map for future weather research to foster the science needed to make society less vulnerable to high-impact weather.

It synthesizes discussions and outcomes of the World Weather Open Science Conference held in Montreal in August 2014. . The conference brought together the entire weather science and user communities for the first time to review the state-of-the-art and chart the scientific frontiers for the next decade and more.

IMO Prize Awarded to Professor Dame Julia Slingo
24 June 2015

GENEVA 24 JUNE, 2015 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Organization has honoured Professor Dame Julia Slingo DBE, chief scientist of the Met Office in the United Kingdom, with the prestigious IMO Prize for her outstanding work in meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related sciences.