World Meteorological Day

World Meteorological Day is an international holiday that has been observed for over 60 years, although not many people outside of the meteorological field have probably heard of it. This day falls on March 23rd and commemorates the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, in 1950. The WMO is an agency of the United Nations and helps to coordinate member nations in not only the fields of meteorology but also in Earth sciences and operational hydrology.

The History Of World Meteorological Day

In Vienna, Austria, in 1873, the International Meteorological Organization was established at the first International Meteorological Congress. The purpose of this organization was to set up and use meteorological stations and networks across the world. These networks were then designed to be linked using telegraph lines so that improved weather forecasts could be formulated and quickly sent out. This organization operated until March 23, 1950, when it officially became the World Meteorological Organization and became an arm of the United Nations. Although the original purpose of this organization remained intact, it was given additional responsibilities that included not only meteorology but also geophysical sciences and operational hydrology.

Facts About Meteorology

Below are some very interesting facts about meteorology. Let’s take a look at some of them before moving on to World Meteorological Day celebrations and observances.

  • Aristotle wrote about meteorology over 2,350 years ago.
  • Luke Howard is considered to be the father of meteorology.
  • Air pressure, moisture, ocean currents, and the jet stream are just some of the things meteorologists consider when drawing up weather forecasts.
  • To be a meteorologist, a person has to have a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master’s, or a Doctorate degree in meteorology.
  • Before a rainstorm shows up, cows will lie down.
  • Not all TV weather people are meteorologists. Some of them are just weathercasters.

Observing World Meteorological Day

World Meteorological Day is observed by all member nations of the United Nations. On this day, there are presentations, conferences, exhibitions, and symposia for meteorological professionals, the general public, and community leaders all over the world. Several prizes are also awarded on this day, including the Professor Dr. Vilho Väisälä Award and the International Meteorological Organization Prize. Some countries also issue special meteorological stamps on this day for the general public.

Every year, the arrival of this holiday coincides with a new theme released for it. Past themes include “Our Future Climate” (2003), “Preventing and Mitigating Natural Disasters” (2006), and “Climate For You” (2011). Below is a list of some of the other themes released for this day over the years:

  • Climate Knowledge For Climate Action (2015)
  • Hotter, Drier, Wetter (2016)
  • Understanding Clouds (2017)
  • Weather-Ready, Climate Smart (2018)
  • The Sun, The Earth, And The Weather (2019)
  • Climate And Water (2020)
  • The Ocean, Our Climate And Weather (2021)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 23 Saturday
Next year (2025)
March 23 Sunday
Last year (2023)
March 23 Thursday
Nature & Environment, United Nations