March 23 is World Meteorological Day, a celebration of all-things-weather from the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO). As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.
WMO programs facilitate and promote:
- the establishment of networks of observational stations to provide weather, climate and water-related data;
- the establishment and maintenance of data management centres and telecommunication systems for the provision and rapid exchange of weather, climate and water-related data;
- the creation of standards for observation and monitoring in order to ensure adequate uniformity in the practices and procedures employed worldwide and, thereby, ascertain the homogeneity of data and statistics;
- the application of science and technology in operational meteorology and hydrology to aviation, transport (air, land and maritime), water resource management, agriculture and other focus areas;
- activities in operational hydrology as well as closer cooperation between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in states and territories where they are separate; and
- the coordination of research and training in meteorology and related fields.
The theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day is “The Sun, the Earth, and the Weather”. Through the theme, WMO showcases how “the Sun delivers the energy that powers all life on Earth”, adding, “It drives the weather, ocean currents and the hydrological cycle.” Playing tribute to the Sun, the WMO writes, “The Sun delivers the energy that powers all life on Earth. It drives the weather, ocean currents and the hydrological cycle. It shapes our mood and our daily activities. It is the inspiration for music, photography and art. The Sun is a star, just like the ones we can see in the night sky, but much, much closer. Located nearly 150 million kilometres from the Earth, it is the heart of our solar system and keeps our planet warm enough for living things to thrive. For over 4.5 billion years, this hot ball of glowing plasma has been the driving force behind weather, climate and life on Earth.”