The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) for weather, climate, operational hydrology and geophysical sciences. Switzerland is one of the 191 members of the WMO, and is represented by MeteoSwiss.

The WMO flag on top of the WMO headquarters in Geneva.
WMO flag in Geneva © WMO

The WMO was founded on 23 March 1950. It was the successor to the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was established in 1873. The WMO is a specialist organisation of the UN, and is based in Geneva. It coordinates international cooperation on weather, climate, hydrology and water resources. Switzerland is one of the 191 member countries and territories, and is represented by MeteoSwiss.

Worldwide promotional programmes for meteorology

The WMO is actively involved in a number of programmes. In the area of climate, for example, it promotes programmes that facilitate the unrestricted exchange of meteorological and hydrological data. Moreover, it promotes the implementation of climate services with the aim of tackling hunger and supporting economic development and public health care. The overarching objective of the WMO is the creation of a global climate monitoring service, which should, in turn, be of benefit to all of the other programmes.
In the area of meteorology, the WMO promotes the standardisation of weather observations, as well as the training of meteorologists. WMO programmes further the application possibilities for meteorological information, such as specialised weather forecasts for aviation or agriculture, or severe weather warnings.

Global climate monitoring

The WMO is not only focused on its own programmes, but is also actively involved in jointly funded programmes such as the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). The WMO is also playing a key role in the creation of a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), the main aim of which is improved risk management for climate fluctuations and climate change. This is being accomplished by coordinating the efforts of all climatology and meteorology work, including monitoring, data management and collaboration on development projects.