for Basic Systems—13th regular session,
St. Petersburg (Russian Federation), 23 February-3 March
major objective of the meeting was to improve weather
observations, forecasts and alerts through the
development of WMO’s World Weather Watch Global Observing
System and its Global Telecommunications and Data Processing
and Forecast Systems.
Commission is responsible for the coordination of the operational
of WMO’s Members with respect to the generation and
exchange of weather observations, forecasts and warnings.
The Commission agreed on standards, procedures and practices
which are needed to respond to the scientific and technical
progress and the application of new technological systems in
meteorology and related disciplines. The Commission took
into account the 10-Year
Implementation Plan for the Global Earth Observing System of
Systems (GEOSS) adopted by the third Earth Observation.
200 government representatives from about 70 countries and
eminent experts participated
in the meeting, chaired
by the acting president of the Commission, Mr Alexander
Gusev (National Hydrometeorological Service
of the Russian Federation (Roshydromet)).
The session was opened in presence of officials of
the Russian Government and Mr Alexander Bedritskiy, Chairman
of Roshydromet and President of WMO.
his opening address, Mr Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of
WMO, drew attention to the tremendous potential of the WMO
Global Telecommunication System (GTS), which interconnects National
Meteorological and Hydrological Services around the world,
for the timely and reliable exchange of warnings and
messages beyond the strict domain of weather, climate and
Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific Ocean already utilizes
the WMO GTS for the exchange of such warnings and WMO is
actively joining forces with the other key agencies of the
UN system and, in particular, the Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, in ensuring that
such a system may soon become a reality, in the Indian Ocean
and other regions at risk.
Another example was WMO’s contribution to the
international arrangement for Emergency Response Activities
related to nuclear accidents, adopted under the auspices of
the International Atomic Energy Agency. In
this connection, WMO plays an important role in monitoring
and, through its numerical weather prediction (NWP)
capability, predicting the atmospheric dispersion of
Commission examined the future cost-effective constellation
of systems for global weather observation, which includes
meteorological, environmental and research and development
satellites, automatic aircraft weather reporting systems,
thousands of merchant ships, and over 10 000 land-based
in weather simulation and forecast models, which in some
countries allow reliable forecasting up to 10 days ahead,
was reviewed. The Commission defined mechanisms for making
these valuable forecasts available to all countries through
appropriate telecommunication arrangements for the exchange
of information and training of experts in the application of
computer output for local weather forecasting. Arrangements
for a possible large-scale international experiment on the
improvement of weather forecasting was examined.
major agenda item covered urgent requirements for
international data exchange and the need to ensure that all
countries have access to critical environmental measurements
and forecast information.
A critical area is the international coordination of
radio-frequency bands. Radio-frequencies are a much sought-after commodity by
governments, industry and the scientific community. The Commission is actively engaged in ensuring that
radio-frequency bands are available for environmental
satellites, weather radar systems, and other transmitting
systems used for remotely sensing the atmosphere, oceans,
water bodies and land surfaces, as well as for related
Commission also considered recommendations made at a
preceding technical conference on public weather services,
aimed at improving early warning methods and operational
arrangements for natural disaster risks, such as those
stemming from severe or high-impact weather and river
Mr Alexander Gusev (Russian Federation) was elected president of the
Commission for Basic Systems and Prof. Geerd-Ruediger
Hoffmann (Germany) was elected vice-president.
ceremony of the session with Dr A. Bedritskiy, President of
WMO (second from right), Mr M. Jarraud, Secretary-General of
WMO (second from left) and Mr A. Gusev, newly elected
president of the Commission (centre).