With today’s technology, it’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t know what the weather was going to be like. Instead of having a five-day forecast right on your weather app, you had to read wind patterns for weeks if you wanted to know whether you needed a rain jacket or a light sweater. That’s why, on March 23, we celebrate the World Meteorological Organization, an international organization that collects data from all over the world to help us better understand the weather and its impact on our lives.
World Meteorological Day timeline
- March 23, 1961
The WMO Gains Recognition
The first World Meteorological Day is observed, on the anniversary of the organization’s creation.
- March 23, 1950
WMO Gets Its Name
The International Meteorological Organization becomes the World Meteorological Organization, which it still is today.
The First Weather Organization Formed
The International Meteorological association is formed to exchange information about weather across national borders.
How to Observe World Meteorological Day
Watch your local weather channel
It’s always a good idea to know what the weather’s going to be like in your area. This World Meteorological Day, however, get to know the people who make these forecasts possible. Your local meteorologist is a vital part of your community.
Download the WMO calendar
Every year, the WMO holds a photo contest and features the winners in their annual calendars. Check for the calendar when it's released— the photos showcase just how stunning weather can be. Best of all, the calendar is available on the WMO website for free download.
Help disaster relief organizations
Early warnings save countless lives but, unfortunately, they are not always enough. Storms can do millions of dollars of damage in a few hours and sometimes recovery is slow. Get in touch with your local Red Cross to find out how you can help those in need by volunteering or donating.
Why World Meteorological Day is Important
It helps us plan our whole days
Without the data collected by the World Meteorological Organization, it would be impossible to get accurate daily weather forecasts. Most people plan their whole day — from how to dress to what to do — around what the weatherman says. A world with no weather forecasts is a world with a lot more ruined picnics.
It tracks climate damage
The World Meteorological Organization is about more than just weather. They detect and monitor changes in climate. This can range from changing sea levels, fluctuations in temperature, and rising levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. This information is crucial to our understanding of the climate change crises.
They warn us about natural disasters
Natural disasters are, well, disastrous, but they would be much worse if we couldn’t track the storm for days before it strikes. Because of the WMO, we are able to predict huge storms with enough time for people to evacuate the area, or at least make the necessary storm preparations.