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Climate / Flying weather / Measuring atmospheric composition / Instruments / Satellite meteorology / Technical cooperation / Tropical cyclones / Water issues / Education and trainingPublic weather servicesNatural disasters /


Climate and tourism

Climate is a key resource for tourism. Climate variability can affect travellers’ and holiday-makers’ safety and comfort and needs to be factored into planning and management. WMO supports National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in the provision of data, information and products to the sector. Many NMHSs have information and prediction services for specialized requirements, such as ecotourism, mountaineering and sailing. In collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (, WMO has produced the Handbook on Natural Disaster Reduction in Tourist  Areas.


Climate and health 

WMO is currently collaborating with the World Health Organization to develop guidelines on heat-health warning systems. These systems will help meteorological and health experts establish programmes to warn of potentially deadly heatwaves and ensure appropriate intervention and support to minimize human suffering during such events.

For more information, see

Agriculture and climate

Agriculture influences weather and climate through land-use measures. WMO is supporting the establishment of a network which would provide an integrated approach and contribute significantly to the process, policy-making, education and outreach of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental on Panel on Climate Change. An integrated assessment of impacts would be useful to policy-makers, environmental assessors and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

Weather, climate and farmers

The growth in human population and negative weather and climate impacts impose considerable pressure on farmers. More targeted weather and climate forecasting can improve preparedness and lead to better and sustainable outcomes for farmers. WMO contributes to this process by providing knowledge and training in the impacts and their mitigation of climate variability on agriculture, forestry and fisheries; the production and application of weather forecasts and climate predictions; the development and improvement of advisories, early warnings and other services; and applications of remote-sensing and geographical information systems.


For more information, see  

The January 2005 issue (No. 26) of World Climate News is available in printed form from the WMO Secretariat and online (pdf):



Flying weather

The World Area Forecast System (WAFS) was developed by WMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization in order to supply meteorological authorities and other users—particularly airlines—with forecasts of global upper wind, temperature, humidity and significant weather phenomena. 

WAFS forecasts and operational meteorological information are broadcast by satellite from the two World Area Forecast Centres in London, UK, and Washington DC, USA, to over 164 countries, 24 hours a day. 

The last phase in establishing WAFS that included the requirements for the transmission of information about volcanic ash, tropical cyclones and prevailing visibility, became applicable in November 2004. The cessation of the transmission of flight documentation in facsimile charts is planned for 31 December 2006. Meteorological service providers will need to install visualization software on their workstations and train staff to access, process and decode the information, and prepare flight documentation.

Significant progress has been made in implementing the WMO Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR) Programme. More than 200 000 observations per day are now being exchanged via WMO’s Global Telecommunication System. AMDAR data support a wide range of meteorological applications and are an essential source of upper-air information for numerical weather prediction models.


Updated aeronautical meteorology publications:

• Guide to Practices for Meteorological Offices Serving Aviation (WMO-No. 732)

• WMO Technical Regulations (C.3.1), Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation, Volume II (WMO-No. 49)

For more information, see:


Measuring atmospheric composition

The Malaysian Meteorological Service has established a Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) station (117° 50’E, 04° 58’N, elevation 427 m asl) in the Danum Valley, a protected primary forest reserve of 438 km2 in Sabah, north-eastern Borneo.

Priority will be given to acquiring measurements of chemical composition and selected physical characteristics of the atmosphere in the data-sparse tropics to improve the understanding of processes in an equatorial rainforest environment. The data provided are expected to contribute to the study of environmental issues such as climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, transboundary haze and acid deposition.  

The Danum Valley station will address national research priorities and fulfill Malaysian’s obligations under a number of international conventions and agreements. Collaborative, international projects are also planned on issues ranging from biomass burning and verification of atmospheric models to oxidant and particle photochemical processes above a tropical rainforest. The GAW site will be part of the regional East Asia Acid Deposition Monitoring Network and is also expected to contribute valuable data in support of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry initiative “Composition of Asian Deposition”.


The 200-m high sampling tower at the Danum Valley GAW station

For further information on the Danum Valley GAW station, see:

For further information on GAW, see:



Measuring present weather

Present weather, usually observed, described and reported by a human observer will be increasingly determined by automatic and unattended equipment. Work is therefore underway to develop standards for automated subjective observations. These standards will depend on available and also possible future technologies, which will provide alternative information on present weather.  Measurements in harsh environments (ice, deserts, tropics, the oceans) and near roads and in urban areas are in focus today, for which appropriate siting and exposure are particular challenges. Metadata presented in a uniform format is an essential requirement for the interpretation of measured data and siting criteria and metadata standards are being developed. Quality-management systems and training material are other areas receiving attention in order to guarantee reliable data and acceptable measurement.

For more information about meteorological instruments and methods of observations, see:

The WMO catalogue of instruments and surface observing systems is updated frequently:



Satellite meteorology

Measuring precipitation from space

The International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) provides an opportunity for operational and research users of satellite precipitation measurements to exchange information on methods and impacts in numerical weather and hydrometeorological prediction and climate studies. The IPWG aims to develop better measurements and applications, improve scientific understanding, and foster international partnerships.




Technical cooperation

Bahrain Meteorological Service

An automatic weather station network composed of six stations has been established in Bahrain. A TV weather presentation system and a climate database management system have been installed and staff have been trained. The Bahrain Directorate of Meteorology is now in a better position to provide precise meteorological information, forecasts and products to weather-sensitive activities in various sectors of the economy.

Maldives Meteorological Service

In Maldives a project has been carried out to build capacity (infrastructure and human resources) of the Department of Meteorology for improved weather forecasts, maintenance of technical equipment and  collection of climate data. Marine meteorology and seismology have been introduced into  its core activities. 


National Meteorological Centre of the Department of Meteorology, Maldives

Libyan Meteorological Service

An automatic weather station network comprising six stations has been established in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. At Tripoli international, an integrated terminal weather system has been installed. A central workshop has been established at the Headquarters of the National Meteorological Centre and a mobile workshop provided. Several staff members received training abroad.


An automatic weather station at El Hamada
(Photo: Météo-France International)

Meteorological Services of the Caribbean Region

A pilot project for an automated weather service production system for the Caribbean area is being developed, building on the capacity that has been made available at National Meteorological Services in the region under the Small Island Developing States (SIDS)-Caribbean Project. The pilot project will be implemented in 2005, initially in two or three countries. It is expected to contribute to the sustainability, visibility and development of the Caribbean Meteorological Services for the benefit of the region.  


Tropical cyclones

In the field of prevention and mitigation of tropical-cyclone-related disasters, WMO promotes cooperation among National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, and partnerships with global and regional organizations.  

In South-East Asia, hands-on training is organized for tropical cyclone and storm surge forecasters and a research fellowship scheme is being implemented. A model is being developed to improve forecasts of flooding associated with tropical cyclones, observation and telecommunication facilities are being upgraded, and capacity is being enhanced through fellowships and attachments of staff to advanced centres in the region.


Typhoon award

The 2004 Typhoon Committee Natural Disaster Prevention Award was presented to the China Meteorological Administration.  

For more information about WMO and tropical cyclones, see:


Water issues

Water resources

 WMO helps National Hydrological Services build up capacity so that they can deliver essential services such as water-resources monitoring, extreme hydrological events forecasting, studying the effect of increased anthropogenic changes on river flow and assessing the effects of climate change and variability on water availability.

Criteria have been defined for identifying pristine river basins in order to detect trends and data exchange formats and protocols, including metadata, are being developed.

Extreme climatic conditions can affect water availability—too much or too little—with consequences for food security in vulnerable regions. Adaptation strategies are being drawn up which focus on changing cropping patterns and improving the resistance of varieties of crops, as well as on the forecasting and early warning of flood and drought events.

For more information, see

Dealing with floods

Integrated flood management (IFM) aims at maximizing the productivity of floodplains whilst minimizing loss of life. IFM touches on many areas of law on various institutional and geographical scales, as it covers interventions related to flood prevention, preparedness and mitigation, and emergency response, recovery and rehabilitation. A legal framework is being elaborated which will provide guidance on how to translate IFM principles into practice. Initially for legal experts, it is ultimately aimed at policy-makers, flood practitioners and stakeholder groups, NGOs and the media.


For more information, see: and


Education and training

Forthcoming training events

  • Regional Training Seminar for National Trainers of RA II and RA V, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 16-27 May 2005 

  • Training Seminar on Curriculum Development of Aeronautical Meteorology, UK Meteorological Office College, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, 7-11 March 2005 (in English).

Training publications

A CD-ROM containing electronic versions of 49 out-of-print WMO “Blue Series” training publications (pdf files of scanned texts and figures) in meteorology and operational hydrology has been widely distributed.  The publications are in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian.

For more information about WMO training materials, see:

For the WMO catalogue of publications and how to order, see:


Public weather services

METEOSAT Second Generation (MSG) satellite products are being used routinely for forecasting and other services at a number of National Meteorological Services (NMSs) in Europe. Staff of  NMSs in eastern European and Balkan countries recently had the opportunity to learn more about MSG products and their applications. Other issues of increasing importance for these NMSs and for which WMO is providing guidance and assistance are:  handling the media (interviews, press releases); quality management; improving warning systems, including coordination with other national authorities; corporate identity; marketing; Internet homepages; and responding to users and their needs through regular consultations and surveys.


Natural disasters: prevention and preparedness

The year 2004 saw a series of major disasters, ranging from one of the most devastating tropical cyclone seasons ever in the North Atlantic and western North Pacific Oceans, to severe flooding in East and South-East Asia, and culminating in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December.

WMO is promoting a culture of pro-active disaster prevention and preparedness, based on risk assessment and management. Hence the need to establish and strengthen early warning systems. Resources required for the provision of meteorological and hydrological warning systems should be regarded as an investment in view of the benefits to be derived—all the more so if weather and climate extremes are to increase, resulting in socio-economic setbacks, notably for developing nations.

For more information, see:




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