Concept, Goals, Objectives and Requirements
Congress approved the concept of WIS, which will provide a single coordinated global infrastructurefor the collection and sharing of information in support of all WMO and related international programmes.
To serve as a global forum for the collaboration of developers and users of meteorological and related data products and services, and to advance the development of inter-programme operations.

WIS is a key enabler of WMO’s three top level objectives (reference WMO Strategic Plan)

  • To produce more accurate, timely and reliable forecasts and warnings of weather, climate, water and related environmental elements;
  • To improve the delivery of weather, climate, water and related environmental information and services to the public, governments and other users;
  • To provide scientific and technical expertise and advice in support of policy- and decision-making and implementation of the agreed international development goals and multilateral agreement.

WIS is a key deliverable of the "Science and technology development and implementation" strategic thrust, serving more specifically the following Expected Results:

4. Integration of WMO observing systems
(a) Quality of observations
(b) Availability of useful observations to WMO Members and external users
(c) Completion of milestones towards integration

5. Development and implementation of the new WMO Information System
(a) Completion of milestones agreed by Fifteenth Congress
(b) Number of implemented interoperability arrangements across WMO centres and with external partners
(c) Number of different functions including data discovery and information pull

Underlying the Strategic Plan is a fundamental need within meteorology, oceanography, hydrology and climate for understanding past and present states of the environment. This requires the collection and open sharing of information. In the case of the production of real time warning services this exchange of information needs to be rapid and reliable. Hence, the high profile of WIS within the expected results 4 and 5.
  • Collection and sharing of information for all WMO and related international programmes
  • Flexible and extensible structure that will allow the participating centres to enhance their capabilities as their national and international responsibilities grew
  • Implementation upon the most successful components of existing WMO information systems in an evolutionary process
  • Smooth and coordinated transition
  • Basis for the core communication network will be the present communication links used within the World Weather Watch (WWW) for the high priority real-time data
  • Utilization of international industry standards for protocols, hardware and software
A widely available and electronic (on-line) catalogue of all meteorological and related data for exchange. 
The catalogue shall make it possible:
  • to rapidly integrate real-time and non-real-time (archive) data sets to better interpret weather events in a climatologically context.
  • to identify and to use the potential of data from observation sites established by one Programme to meet the requirements of other Programmes.
  • to harmonize data formats, transmission standards, archiving and distribution mechanisms to better support inter-disciplinary use of data and products.
  • standard practices for collection, electronic archival and exchange of metadata, both high-level and detailed, especially for stations and instruments.
  • the use of  industry standards for protocols, hardware and software because of the rapidly evolving information systems technology (reduces costs and allows exploitation of modern communication services, including the Internet).
WIS shall provide an integrated approach to meet the requirements of:
  • Routine collection and automated dissemination of observed data and products (“push”).
  • Timely delivery of data and products (appropriate to requirements)
  • Ad-hoc requests for data and products (“pull”)
WIS shall be:
  • Reliable
  • Cost effective and affordable
  • Technologically sustainable and appropriate to local expertise
  • Modular and scalable
  • Flexible and extensible - able to adjust to changing requirements and allow dissemination of products from diverse data sources and allow participants to collaborate at levels appropriate to their responsibilities and budgetary resources
WIS shall support:
  • Different user groups and access policies, such as WMO Resolutions 40/25
  • Data and network security
  • Integration of diverse datasets
  • Variety of data types, common to all WMO programmes 
  • Real and non-real time data sets
  • Routine dissemination as well as request/reply mechanisms for all data and products
  • Various communication protocols for data transmission matching exchange requirements, from email and GTS procedures to emerging Internet standards like Web- and Grid-Services
  • Using different types of communication links as available, appropriate and cost effective, including dedicated links and networks, e.g. GTS, satellites and Internet
  • Using off-the-shelf hardware and software systems, preferably open source software


CBS related meetings
Terms of Reference - OPAG-ISS
Members of OPAG-ISS
WIS Working Groups
Reference documents
Manuals/Technical Regulations
Radio Frequency Management
System Support Activities
Software Exchange
WMO Secretariat

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