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16 April 2013



WMO Information System is strengthened

Two new Global Information System Centres have become operational under the World Meteorological Organization Information System which aims to improve and expand the current exchange of weather, climate and water data.

Global Information System Centres Seoul (Republic of Korea) and Melbourne (Australia) became operational 29 March and 16 April 2013 respectively. They join Beijing (China); Exeter (UK), Offenbach (Germany), Tokyo (Japan), and Toulouse (France), which became operational in 2012.

The WMO Information System makes it easier to find and use meteorological observations and products and to share them with a wide variety of stakeholders such as the research and disaster risk reduction communities. Successfully receiving, transmitting and handling weather, climate and environmental information is vital for sustainable economic development.

The WMO Information System allows users outside the meteorological community to access this information for the first time. This will be especially important as WMO moves ahead with other U.N. and international partners with the Global Framework for Climate Services which aims to provide basic climate services for all in the food security, water management, disaster risk reduction and health sectors.

The WMO Information System builds on the proven success of the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) of WMO’s World Weather Watch, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. The GTS has been the backbone of meteorological information exchange and is used for daily weather observations and forecasts, tropical cyclone warnings and Tsunami alerts – to name but a few applications.

Centres in the WMO Information System are catagorised into one of three types of data centres:

•National Centres collect and distribute data on a national basis. They generate quality controlled analysis and forecast products, and services, including archiving national climate information. The National Meteorological or Hydrological Service coordinate or authorize the use of the WIS by national users.

•Data Collection or Production Centres are similar to National Centres but focus on thematic, regional or global collection and/or production of sets of data, forecast products, processed or value-added information, and/or for providing archiving services.

•Global Information System Centres connect to each other through a high speed private telecommunication network. They rapidly share information meant for routine global dissemination that they collect from National Centres and Data Collection or Production Centres in their area of responsibility . They also serve as distribution centres into their areas points, through unified portals and comprehensive metadata catalogues, for any request for data exchanged within the WIS.

South-West Pacific Workshop

A workshop for members of WMO’s Regional Association for the South-west Pacific will be held 29 April – 3 May 2013 to help National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the region develop capacity to participate in the WMO Information System. The workshop will also how to exchange observed and forecast weather data and products using WMO’s standard exchange formats.

The workshop is being sponsored by AusAID Pacific Public Sector Linkage Program (PSLP) for Pacific Island Countries, with contributions from WMO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The workshop in Melbourne will prepare partner countries to adopt the best practice for the free and open international exchange of weather and climate information and products through a more comprehensive information service using WIS which builds upon the success of the WMO Global Telecommunication System.

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