WMO

A woman holds a girl while walking in a hips-height flooded street

Weather, climate and water extremes are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change.  Impact-based forecasts that inform the public of what the weather will do are vital to save lives and livelihoods. Yet one in three people are still not adequately covered by early warning systems. Greater coordination between hydrometeorological services and disaster management authorities is fundamental. This World Meteorological Day (23 March) spotlights the vital importance of Hydrometeorological and Climate Information for Disaster Risk Reduction.

World map showing climate change

Although average global temperatures were temporarily cooled by the 2020-2022 La Niña events, 2021 was still one of the seven warmest years on record, according to six leading international datasets consolidated by the WMO.  Global warming and other long-term climate change trends are expected to continue as a result of record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11°C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. 2021 is the 7th consecutive year global temperature has been over 1°C above pre-industrial levels.

 

polar ice rim

A temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk on 20 June 2020 has been recognized as a new Arctic temperature record by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

White cloud in a blue sky

An Atlas describing the classification system for clouds and meteorological phenomena used by all WMO Members. Classifications also describe meteorological meteors: hydrometeors, lithometeors, photometeors, and electrometeors.

view of water and hills

WMO has shortlisted 60 photos, based on technical and artistic merit, and published them on Facebook and Instagram, where you can vote for your favourites. They show the amazing power and beauty of our weather and our natural surrounds and illustrate the theme of World Meteorological Day 2022Early Warning and Early Action. Winning entries will feature in the WMO 2022 online calendar.

girl walking in flooded street

A disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past 50 years – killing 115 people and causing US$ 202 million in losses daily, according to a comprehensive new report from the World Meteorological Organization. The number of disasters has increased by a factor of five over the 50-year period, driven by climate change, more extreme weather and improved reporting. But, thanks to improved early warnings and disaster management, the number of deaths decreased almost three-fold.

silhouette of a man standing at the entrance to the deck of a ship

IMO welcomed the industry-led Neptune Declaration, which calls for seafarers to be designated as key workers and for cooperation to end the crew change crisis.

pie chart for La Niña update

The 2020-2021 La Niña event has passed its peak, but impacts on temperatures, precipitation and storm patterns continue, according to a new update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Despite the general cooling influence of La Niña events, land temperatures are expected to be above-normal for most parts of the globe in February-April 2021.

circular clouds in open field

More than 1,100 photographs were submitted to the competition, which has become one of WMO’s most popular fixtures.  Of these, 70 photographs – in keeping with the World Meteorological Organization’s 70th anniversary – were selected for public voting on social media. Following the social media voting, a WMO jury of meteorologists and photographers selected 13 winning photos for the calendar (one per month, plus cover photo). The final selection was based on votes, photographic merit and meteorological interest, like this supercell in Colorado. 

Map of the world colour-coded by temperature.

Climate change continued its relentless march in 2020, which is on track to be one of the three warmest years on record. 2011-2020 will be the warmest decade on record, according to the WMO.

Frost on an open field at dawn with wind turbines in the background.

The industrial slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not curbed record levels of greenhouse gases which are trapping heat in the atmosphere, increasing temperatures and driving more extreme weather, ice melt, sea-level rise and ocean acidification, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The lockdown has cut emissions of many pollutants and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. But any impact on CO2 concentrations - the result of cumulative past and current emissions - is in fact no bigger than the normal year to year fluctuations in the carbon cycle and the high natural variability in carbon sinks like vegetation.

satellite view of hurricane

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is so active that it has exhausted the regular list of storm names. The Greek alphabet is now being used for only the second time on record.

There was a temporary decline in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by the COVID-19 lockdown and economic slowdown. But now, greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations are heading in the direction of pre-pandemic levels.

The logo of the report.

United in Science 2020, the new multi-agency report coordinated by WMO, highlights the increasing and irreversible impacts of climate change, which affects glaciers, oceans, nature, economies and human living conditions. It also documents how COVID-19 has impeded our ability to monitor these changes. Emissions are heading in the direction of pre-pandemic levels following a temporary decline caused by the lockdown and economic slowdown. The world is set to see its warmest five years on record – in a trend which is likely to continue.

weather maps

Despite the tendency for La Niña to have a cooling effect on global temperatures overall, above-average temperatures are expected to be predominant.