World Meteorological Organization

Organisation Météorologique Mondiale

World Weather Watch

Instruments and
Methods of Observation Programme


Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation

CIMO Newsletter

JUNE 2004

The CIMO Newsletter is intended as a complementary means of keeping informed all CIMO members and getting them involved in the work of the Commission, by reporting regularly on its activities as well as on other related organizational matters, meetings, publications, etc. Readers are encouraged to provide their comments.


In order to keep the list of CIMO members in WMO Publication No. 5 up-to-date, we urge WMO Member countries to inform the Secretariat promptly of changes concerning the designation of their members to the CIMO. Thank you.



 Outcome of EC-LVI related to CIMO and IMOP

            The fifty-sixth meeting of the WMO Executive Council was held in Geneva, 8-18 June 2004. The acting president of CIMO, Dr Ray Canterford, presented his report to Council in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, which is now available to all on the CIMO/IMOP website. Dr Canterford reported on the structure, substantial achievements and future plans of the Commission in undertaking the IMOP Programme. He pointed out the work of the OPAGs, in particular the training activities on Upper-Air technology; the testing of a flexible radiosonde system; and the upcoming intercomparison of high quality radiosondes in Mauritius.

             The Council noted with satisfaction that, according to the programme for WMO Intercomparisons set-up by CIMO-XIII, steps had been taken by CIMO to proceed with urgently needed intercomparisons, essential to WMO Programmes that demand accurate homogenous measurements. At this time, the WMO Intercomparison of Radiosonde Systems has been scheduled to take place in Mauritius in February 2005; the WMO Laboratory Intercomparisons of Rainfall Intensity (RI) Gauges could possibly be held at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Météo‑France and the NMS of Italy (University of Genova), if the necessary funds could be identified; and the Field Intercomparison of RI Measuring Instruments and the Intercomparison of Thermometer Screens/Shields in conjunction with Humidity Measurements could only be implemented as planned if the necessary financial resources would be made available. As regards the Tenth International Pyrheliometer Comparison and conjoint Regional Pyrheliometer Comparisons planned for September/October 2005, the Council noted that no funds were currently available in the regular budget to support the participation of Regional and National Radiation Centres.

             The Council encouraged CIMO to widely exchange the results of all its intercomparison studies, noting that there is considerable interest within the climate community, including scientists outside the NMSs. CIMO and the Association of Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry (HMEI) were also encouraged to collaborate with the Commission for Hydrology in the intercomparison of flow‑measuring instruments and techniques. The Council discussed and suggested the need to consider, in the future, intercomparisons of modern technologies, i.e. radiometers and profilers, and to seek active collaboration with relevant international programmes and organizations, such as EUMETNET, COST, BIPM and ISO.

             The Council appreciated that since EC-LV, five IOM Reports were published in CD-ROM format and are also available on the CIMO/IMOP website, indicating great interest and significant resources by CIMO experts. The Council welcomed, in particular, IOM Report No. 80 - WMO Catalogue of Radiosondes and Upper-Air Wind Systems in use by Members in 2002 and Compatibility of Radiosonde Geopotential Measurements for the period from 1998 to 2001, and, following the presentation of the acting president, urged Members to take into account information provided therein for the operation and planning of their national upper‑air networks.

             The Council was very satisfied with the significant progress made in the area of Training and Capacity Building. In view of the success of the first two Training Workshops on Upper-air Observations (Gaborone, April 2003 and Casablanca, Dec. 2003), the Council asked CIMO to continue organizing capacity building workshops, in all WMO Regions, and requested the Secretary‑General to allocate the necessary resources, as far as possible. The Council welcomed the offer to host the RA III Training Workshop on Upper-air Observations at the RMTC Buenos Aires and expressed its appreciation to Argentina for its efforts to contribute with resource staff and translation of the training material. The Council also noted the training activities of ASECNA and welcomed the proposal for WMO to organize, in collaboration with ASECNA, instrument training in EAMAC, including non-ASECNA countries.

             The Council was pleased that Romania had offered to host the technical conference (TECO‑2005) and the exhibition on instruments and equipment (METEOREX-2005), both considered major CIMO events for information exchange and capacity building. The Council noted that, due to the lack of financial resources, simultaneous interpretation would not be possible.

             The Council requested to continue with the updating of the CMA/CIMO Instrument Catalogue, possibly in collaboration with the HMEI, in order to assist Members with the selection of most suitable instruments for applications within their operational networks. It also requested to post the Catalogue on a website.

            The Council agreed on the need to further strengthen the Regional Instrument Centres (RICs) and was pleased to note that the RIC Barbados was being refurbished under the WMO/Finland SIDS‑Caribbean Project. Also, the Council requested CIMO to review the requirements for the calibration of various instruments, in particular barometers; and to develop an action programme for this purpose in collaboration with the RICs and with special attention to the needs of developing countries. 

Professor Dr Vilho Väisälä Award

            The Council selected Messrs Iwan Holleman and Hans Beekhuis (both of Netherlands) as the winners of the eighteenth Professor Dr Vilho Vaisala Award, for their paper entitled Analysis and Correction of Dual PRF Velocity Data”, published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 20, April 2003. 

             The Council, recalling that over the years nearly all award winners came from developed countries, as the selection criteria for granting the award practically confined a successful competition to leading-edge researchers, decided to establish a second Dr Väisälä Award that would mainly focus on instrument work in developing countries or countries with economies in transition; and adopted therefore the new Guidelines for Granting the Professor Dr Vilho Väisälä Awards. Both awards would still be granted on a biennial basis, in connection with the WMO TECO/ METEOREX, and will include a sum of US$10,000 each. The Council agreed that the nineteenth Dr Väisälä Award (2004) will be the last one to be presented under the current Guidelines, and that the following selection, for two awards, will be undertaken during EC‑LVIII in 2006.


TECO 2005 and METEOREX 2005

The WMO Technical Conference on Meteorological and Environmental Instruments and Methods of Observation (TECO-2005) and the associated Exhibition of Meteorological Instruments, Equipment and Services (METEOREX-2005) will be held in Bucharest, Romania from 4 to 7 May 2005 and from 4 to 6 May 2005, respectively.

The announcement and call for papers for TECO-2005 has already been distributed to WMO Members and other interested parties in mid‑April 2004, and is also available on the WWW CIMO/IMOP website at:, under the heading “CIMO TECO METEOREX”. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 September 2004.


 The first session of the Expert Team on Surface Technology and Measurement Techniques will be held in Geneva from 6 to 9 October 2004. The meeting will address the issue of development of standards for systems measuring present weather, including clouds, icing, state of the ground, lightning and thunderstorms; and standards for automation of manual, visual and subjective observations. It will also discuss standardization of algorithms for AWSs, including algorithms for the automatic assessment of cloud base height and cloud amount.  The meeting will be informed on training activities under the IMOP Programme since CIMO-XIII and will be asked to provide guidance on future training needs and on the need for development of new training material.

 Newsletter Note

The Newsletter will be issued at least twice a year and will be distributed by e-mail to CIMO members and affiliates, including the Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry Association (HMEI) and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), provided that the e-mail addresses are known to the Secretariat.

The contents of this Newsletter may be forwarded to other persons interested in contributing to the work of CIMO, or interested in receiving information on its activities.

Information on the implementation of the World Weather Watch/ Instruments and Methods of Observation Programme as well as on the work of the Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation, is regularly posted on the WWW website at: , under the IMOP link.



Contact us

Contact at WMO Secretariat on CIMO/IMOP related matters

Dr Miroslav Ondráš, WWW/GOS/Senior Scientific Officer

Ms Imelda de Chavez, WWW/GOS Senior Secretary

Ms Sary Vargas, WWW Web Editor

Tel.: +(41 22)  730 8409; 730 8091  -  Fax: +(41 22)  730 8021