World Meteorological Day: 23rd March; Theme, History & Significance

Every year, since 1950, March 23rd has been celebrated as the World Meteorological Day all around the world. This was the same day when the World Meteorological Organization was established. The organization aims to announce a slogan for this day every year, which is then celebrated by all the member countries in the world. The World Meteorological Day commemorates the contribution that the National Meteorological, as well as Hydrological Services, make to a society’s safety and well-being. 

The theme for World Meteorological Day on March 23rd, 2020 is “Climate and Water”, which will be aligning with this year’s World Water Day. Furthermore, it will focus on climate change and water. Additionally, the proposed theme for World Meteorological Day 2021 is “The Ocean, our climate and weather.”

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What happens on this day?

The World Meteorological Day usually features a lot of different events, from conferences and symposia to various exhibitions for meteorological professionals, community leaders as well as the public. These events are also organised with the aim to garner attention from the media towards issues related to the climate. Moreover, these events also see the distribution of many prizes and rewards for meteorological research. These prizes also are:

  1. The International Meteorological Organization Prize
  2. The Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award
  3. Professor Dr Vilho Vaisaala Award

What is the World Meteorological Organization?

The World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency founded in the year 1873. With 193 Member States and Territories, this organization acts as the voice of the UN system’s authority on the state and behaviour of Earth’s atmosphere along with the interaction of land and oceans, the weather and climate which produces the resulting distribution of water resources. 

Themes for the World Meteorological Day throughout the years:

In chronological order, the themes of the World Meteorological Day from 1961 to 1969 were:

  1. Meteorology: general themes
  2. Contribution of meteorology to agriculture and food production
  3. Transport and meteorology (in particular, application of meteorology to aviation)
  4. Meteorology as a factor of economic development
  5. International cooperation in meteorology
  6. World weather watch
  7. Weather and water
  8. Meteorology and agriculture
  9. The economic value of meteorological services

The themes during the 1970s were:

  1. Heteroglycan education and training
  2. Meteorology and human environment
  3. One hundred years of international cooperation in meteorology
  4. Meteorology and tourism
  5. Meteorology and telecommunications
  6. Weather and food
  7. Weather and water
  8. Meteorology and research for the future
  9. Meteorology and energy

The themes during the 1980s were:

  1. Man and climatic variability
  2. World weather watch as a tool for development
  3. Observing the weather from space
  4. The weather observer
  5. Meteorology aids food production
  6. Meteorology and public safety
  7. Climate variations, drought and desertification
  8. Meteorology: a model of international cooperation
  9. Meteorology and the media
  10. Meteorology in the service of aviation

The themes during the 1990s were:

  1. Natural disaster reduction: how meteorological and hydrological services can help
  2. The atmosphere of the living planet earth
  3. Weather and climate services for sustainable development
  4. Meteorology and the transfer of technology
  5. Observing the weather and climate
  6. Public weather services
  7. Meteorology in the service of sports
  8. Weather and water in cities
  9. Weather, oceans and human activity
  10. Weather, climate and health

The themes from 2000 to 2010 were:

  1. The world meteorological organization- 50 years of service
  2. Volunteers for the weather, climate and water
  3. Reducing vulnerability to weather and climate extremes
  4. Our future climate
  5. Weather, climate and water in the information age
  6. Weather, climate, water and sustainable development
  7. Preventing and mitigating natural disasters
  8. Polar meteorology: understanding the global impact
  9. Observing our planet for a better future
  10. 60 years of service for your safety

From 2010 onwards, the themes of the World Meteorological Day were:

  1. Climate for you
  2. Powering our future with weather, climate and water
  3. Watching the weather to protect life and property: celebrating 50 years of world weather watch
  4. Weather and climate: engaging youth
  5. Climate knowledge for climate action
  6. Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the future
  7. Understanding clouds
  8. Weather-ready, climate-smart
  9. The sun, the earth and the weather

This year’s theme will focus on the effects that climate change has on water. It is a known fact that clean and fresh water is vital for life. Studies suggest that a human being cannot survive without water for more than three days. Water is not only essential for our life, but also for the production of food, the environment and much more. 

Check List Of Important Days & Dates Of The Year

Today, the world is facing may issues and challenges which is posed by water, including floods, droughts and the basic lack of clean water. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve, forecast, monitor as well as manage water supplies and thereby tackles other water-related issues. 

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