World Meteorological Organization

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

World Meteorological Organization

World Meteorological Organization (WMO), specialized agency of the United Nations; established in 1950 with headquarters at Geneva, it became affiliated with the United Nations a year later. It replaced the International Meteorological Organization, which was established in 1873. WMO aims at promoting international cooperation between the world's meteorological stations, standardizing meteorological observations, encouraging research and training, extending the use of meteorological findings to different fields, and helping to protect life and property from weather-, climate-, and water-related disasters. Satellites, used to collect meteorological data and in communications, have made possible the rapid exchange of observations for forecasting in the WMO-sponsored World Weather Watch. WMO operates through the World Meteorological Congress (which meets every four years with delegates from its entire membership), an executive committee, eight technical commissions, a secretariat, and six regional meteorological associations in Africa, Asia, South America, North and Central America, the SW Pacific, and Europe. It has 188 members.

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