World Meteorological Day
When is World Meteorological Day?
World Meteorological Day is a holiday recognized every March 23rd. It was initially created to commemorate the establishment of the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Since the holiday’s formation, it has also transformed as an opportunity for the WMO to engage with people on the importance of meteorology and society.
The United Nations, which was established in 1945 after World War II, is the backing agency behind the World Meteorological Organization. The organization was established at a U.N. conference on March 23, 1950. However, this isn’t the first organization of its kind. Prior to the creation of the United Nations, there was an agency dedicated to weather called the International Meteorological Organization. The purpose was to gather and track weather information, while also reporting it to the public as efficiently as possible.
In 1950, the United Nations decided to transition the international organization into the World Meteorological Organization that we know today. While the WMO shares the same core purposes of the International Meteorological Organization, it works with the functions of the United Nations, too. It is important to know the daily weather forecast, but the WMO goes beyond this to educate world communities to ensure safety and well-being.
Establishing a “Weather” Day
World Meteorological Day was established in the 1960s. March 23rd was chosen as the annual day of observance because it is the same date the WMO was created. This “weather” day was created for numerous reasons. First, the holiday raises awareness to societies around the world, and aims to gain public interest to enhance meteorological education. It is also the aim of the WMO to raise issues about public safety and health related to the weather.
The holiday may even garner interest in the youth and encourage the prospect of future meteorological studies in college. Furthermore, people who have an interest in the weather may also take the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate their hobbies. On World Meteorological Day, the WMO also honors meteorologists who have made global impacts through their work.
Having an interest in weather may give you a good incentive to recognize and celebrate World Meteorological Day. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to travel to the annual conference. There are local events tailored to the celebration of meteorology, as well as to the awareness of weather-related issues. Schools may also choose to hold special science projects around this time. Local weather stations may hold events to highlight meteorological issues pertaining to the area and beyond. For example, a hurricane seminar can highlight concerns about the storms, as well as the potential climate changes that may drive their force.
The WMO also creates a theme to focus on for every World Meteorological Day. For example, the 2014 theme is “Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth.” The purpose is to educate next generations about climate change and how related weather impacts can affect the world populous. Past World Meteorological Day themes include: “Our Future Climate,” “Weather, Climate, Water in the Information Age” and “Polar Meteorology: Understanding Global Impacts.”