World Meteorological Day

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2024 Date23 March 2024
2025 Date23 March 2025

World Meteorological Day

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World Meteorological Day History

World Meteorological Day honours the inception of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). This pivotal section of the United Nations is charged with monitoring and documenting the planet's weather, environmental changes, and climatic conditions. The observance gives heed to the continuous efforts of meteorologists and climatologists, sharing their findings with the international community. Celebrated each annum, World Meteorological Day emphasises scientific discoveries, advancements and technology relevant to weather reporting, climate change and water management, as well as raising awareness of the environmental challenges we collectively face.

Established on March 23, 1950, the WMO has become synonymous with global climate research and analysis — including in South Africa. The importance of climate and weather is highly significant in the agriculture-rich regions of South Africa, affecting crop farming and livestock care, thereby impacting the country’s economy. Moreover, changing weather patterns and evolving climate conditions, often due to global warming, also affect the country’s water resources. These have the potential to affect not just consumption and irrigation, but also the diverse ecosystem in South Africa.

For South Africans, World Meteorological Day is an occasion to recognize the importance of meteorologists' work and the knowledge they provide to better adapt to climate change. Observing lectures, workshops and educational programs held in conjunction with South Africa’s national weather service, South Africans get to learn more about the global and local climate situation each year. World Meteorological Day is observed on March 23rd each year.

Facts about World Meteorological Day

  • The theme for World Meteorological Day in 2024 was At the frontline of climate action. The theme in 2023 was The Future of Weather, Climate and Water across Generations.
  • According to the United Nations, the worlds current population expected to surpass 8 billion in 2022, but is expected to reach 8.5 billion in 2030, and 10.4 billion by 2080.
  • According to UNICEF, about 700 million people around the world could be displaced due to intense water scarcity by 2030.
  • The South African Weather Services (SAWS) takes this day to improve its technological capacity in forecasting and predicting weather patterns. It has moved from manual weather observation to automatic weather stations and uses advanced digitally processed satellite imagery for forecasts and predictions.
  • As part of WMO’s global observation system, South Africa hosts several Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) stations that monitor greenhouse gases and other atmospheric variables to better understand and combat climate change.

Top things to do in South Africa for World Meteorological Day

  • Explore the online World Meteorological Organization Library. View reports and publications about the climate and what can be done to save it.
  • Explore the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve: Here, you can experience first-hand the weather conditions that play a role in South Africa's unique flora and fauna.
  • Read a book to learn more about Meteorology in South Africa:
    South African Weather and Climate: A Basic Introduction - by Bruce R. Hewitson
    Meteorology and Climatology of the Great Valleys and Foothills of California. The Effect on the Agriculture Relative to South Africa - by Robert DeCourcy Ward

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