Weather describes short term natural events - such as fog, rain, snow, blizzards, wind and thunder storms, tropical cyclones, etc. - in a specific place and time. WMO coordinates the worldwide efforts that are prerequisite for the production of the accurate and timely weather forecasts.

We need weather forecasts to know what to wear, to plan our day and to prepare for natural hazards that may lie ahead. However, weather forecasts provide essential information for decision-making in many other areas:

  • for safe transportation on land, by sea and in the air
  • for managing fresh water resources,
  • for sport, adventure and beach tourism,
  • for agriculture, building infrastructure and energy management,
  • for taking life-saving timely action in face of impending natural hazards such as tropical cyclones, floods, etc.

Those are just a few of the areas in which weather forecast and information are valuable to users.

WMO Members work together through WMO to coordinate the global network of Earth system observations, free and open exchange of data, continuous research, and global, regional and national data-processing for numerical weather prediction - all basic requirement to deliver accurate, timely weather forecasts and services. Each contribution from every Member counts and improves the weather forecasts of all Members. The final outcome is far greater than the sum of its parts and could not be achieved by any one Member on its own:  Over the past 40 years, forecast skill has been increasing by about one day per decade – a unique accomplishment that is moving science from research into practical solutions.


Visit the World Weather Research Programme's history of weather forecasting: WMO Chronology of Weather Science on tiki-toki

Weather Forecasts and Warnings

The WMO provides official weather observations, weather forecasts and climatological information from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of Members.

Natural hazards and disaster risk reduction

Natural hazards are severe and extreme weather and climate events that occur in all parts of the world, although some regions are more vulnerable to certain hazards than others. Natural hazards become disasters when people’s lives and livelihoods are destroyed.

Observations - Data - Modelling

Currently, well over 10 000 manned and automatic surface weather stations, 1 000 upper-air stations, 7 000 ships, 100 moored and 1 000 drifting buoys, hundreds of weather radars and 3 000 specially equipped commercial aircraft measure key parameters of the atmosphere, land and ocean surface every day. Add to these some 30 meteorological and 200 research satellites to get an idea of the size of the global network for meteorological, hydrological and other geophysical observations.

Data exchange and technology transfer

Powerful computers in WMO centres worldwide process the data collected from tens of thousands of land and sea observation instruments and Earth-observing satellites. These data are used in numerical models based on physical laws to produce weather, climate and water-related forecasts, predictions, and information products and services for use in daily lives, long-term decision-making and research.


WMO coordinates and organizes international research programmes to enhance the ability of its Members to improve weather, climate, water and environmental observations, prediction, service delivery and scientific assessments of regional and global environmental conditions. 


Weather, climate and water impact on agriculture and fisheries, energy, transport, health, insurance, sports, tourism and many more socio-economic sectors. WMO promotes the application of meteorological, climatological, hydrological and oceanographic information in all human activities. 

FAQs - Weather

Frequently asked questions related to weather events.