World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on March 23 to commemorate the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 23 March 1950. The day highlights the importance of the atmosphere, climate, weather, and ocean in sustaining life on Earth. The day also acknowledges the contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and researchers to the safety and wellbeing of society.

Functions of World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization consists of 193 member countries and territories. WMO was derived from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) and established by the sanction of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950. Later, it became the specialised agency of an intergovernmental organization United Nations (UN) for meteorology, hydrology, and geophysical sciences.

The main objectives of WMO are:

  • International cooperation to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere, the land, and oceans
  • Provide data related to weather, climate, and water
  • Reduce disaster risks
  • Contribute to climate change adaptation, water resource management, and other sectors like agriculture, health, and energy.
  • Provide National Meteorological and Hydrological Services
  • Organise research and training in meteorology

World Meteorological Day Theme

World Meteorological Day was first observed on March 23, 1961. Since then, the day has been celebrated with a specific theme every year.

World Meteorological Day theme 2019 – “The Sun, the Earth and the Weather”

The theme reflects the importance of the Sun in providing energy on Earth. It powers all life on Earth, the weather, ocean currents, and the hydrological cycle.

World Meteorological Day theme 2020– “Climate and water”

The theme shows the importance of fresh water in human life. Water is required for drinking, production of food, and daily activities. It is also essential for the environment. Currently, the world is facing floods, droughts, and a lack of access to safe drinking water. These situations reflect the need to improve monitoring and management of water supplies.

World Meteorological Day 2021 theme– “The ocean, our climate, and weather.”

The theme highlights the need to understand the link between ocean, climate and weather. This helps to study the impacts of climate change, reduce the risk of disaster, keep lives and property safe and maintain viable economies.

Several organizations took to Twitter to celebrate the day.

World Meteorological Organization posted a video on Twitter and wrote “#WorldMetDay is 23 March. The #Ocean, our #climate and #weather. The ocean drives climate and weather. It absorbs around 90% of excess heat trapped by C02. #ClimateChange makes it more vulnerable and hazardous.  #OceanDecade”

The European Research Council wrote “It’s #WorldMeteorologicalDay! To investigate how #ClimateChange will affect the strength & frequency of tsunami-like flooding events along European coastlines, ERC grantee Jadranka Šepić @HrUnist is applying #WeatherForecast in reverse. #EUGreenDeal @WMO”

Ministry of Environment – Rwanda wrote “Min @MujaJeanne: It is worth important to note that application of weather and climate services can significantly reduce the risks from extreme weather events. Rwanda is strengthening the meteorological services to avail reliable weather and climate information. #WorldMetDay”