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Guide to Climatological Practices
WMO-No. 100(third edition)


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Guide to Climatological PracticesThe 3rd Edition of the Guide (WMO No. 100) has gone through extensive checking both internally in the Secretariat and externally done by a group of selected reviewers who met in Geneva, September 2009 right after the WCC-3. This process has been supervised by Dr Ned Guttman, NOAA, USA, who has served as one of the authors in the past then an editor. The text which is available for display on the web was finalized and ready for publishing after confirmation by CCl-XV, Antalya, 19-24 February 2010 as well as EC-LXII, June 2010.

WMO wishes to place on record the gratitude to all those who have contributed to the preparation of the third edition of the Guide to Climatological Practices (WMO No.100) and completed this publication with their wealth of suggestions.

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Chapter 1:


The first chapter includes information on climatology and its scope, the organization and functions of a national climate service, and international climate programmes.

Chapter 2:

Climate observations, stations and networks

This chapter on observations follows the sequence of specifying the elements needed to describe the climate and the stations at which these elements are measured, instrumentation, siting of stations, network design and network operations.

Chapter 3:

Climate data management

This chapter includes information on the value of climate data, the importance and purpose of managing data, international standards, climate data management system (CDMS), quality control and data rescue.

Chapter 4:

Characterizing climate from datasets

This chapter concentrates on descriptive statistics, the tool used to reduce to a comprehensible form the properties of an otherwise large amount of data. Many of the methods described in this chapter are best used with computers to process and display the data.

Chapter 5:

Statistical methods for analysing datasets

This chapter introduces some of the statistical concepts and methods available to climatologists, but does not provide detailed specifics of complex subjects.

Chapter 6:

Services and products

Climate services are the dissemination of climate information to the public or a specific user. They involve strong partnerships among NMHSs and stakeholders, including government agencies, private interests and academia, for the purpose of interpreting and applying past climate information for decision-making, for sustainable development, and for the improvement of climate information products, predictions and outlooks.

Annex 1:


Annex 1 provides the list of acronyms used in this guide

Annex 2:

International climate activities

This annex reviews developments in international coordination on climate activities and efforts to tackle the deficiencies in the understanding of climate. It also explores how climate impacts the society and the environment, while some are beneficial and the others detrimental.

The Guide on the Web and how to get the most updated version

This Guide will be a “living” document to be updated periodically and posted on the internet. As updates of various chapters will be issued, they will be published on and accessible through this web page.

Users of the Guide are invited to provide WMO with their comments and suggestions for its further improvement.

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