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World Meteorological Day

The United Nations' (UN) World Meteorological Day is annually held on or around March 23 to remember the World Meteorological Organization's establishment on that date in 1950. Many different activities and events are organized for this occasion.

Weather equipment
Weather stations help pass information about weather forecasts and temperatures.
Weather stations help pass information about weather forecasts and temperatures.
©iStockphoto.com/Saso Novoselic

What Do People Do?

World Meteorological Day often features various events such as conferences, symposia and exhibitions for meteorological professionals, community leaders and the general public. Some events aim to attract media attention to raise meteorology's profile.

Many prizes for meteorological research are presented or announced on or close to World Meteorological Day. These prizes include:

  • The International Meteorological Organization Prize.
  • Professor Dr. Vilho Väisälä Award.
  • The Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award.

Many countries issue postage stamps or special postage stamp cancellation marks to celebrate World Meteorological Day. These stamps often reflect the event's theme or mark a country's meteorology achievements.

Public Life

World Meteorological Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The International Meteorological Organization was established at the first International Meteorological Congress in Vienna, Austria, in 1873. The organization aimed to establish meteorological station networks. These networks were linked by telegraph and improved weather forecasts. This contributed to shipping services' safety and efficiency.

The International Meteorological Organization became the World Meteorological Organization on March 23, 1950. It became the UN's specialized agency for meteorology, operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences in 1951.

The World Meteorological Organization plays a crucial role in contributing to people's safety and welfare. Its work is important in providing food security, water resources and transport. World Meteorological Day has been observed on March 23 each year since 1961.

Themes

Recent themes of World Meteorological Day have been:

  • Weather, climate and the air we breathe (2009). 
  • Observing our planet for a better future (2008).
  • Polar meteorology: Understanding global impacts (2007).
  • Preventing and mitigating natural disasters (2006).
  • Weather, climate, water and sustainable development (2005).
  • Weather, climate, water in the information age (2004).
  • Our future climate (2003).

A new theme is allocated to each different year for World Meteorological Day.

World Meteorological Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
TueMar 232010World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
WedMar 232011World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
FriMar 232012World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
SatMar 232013World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
SunMar 232014World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
MonMar 232015World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
WedMar 232016World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
ThuMar 232017World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
FriMar 232018World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
SatMar 232019World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance
MonMar 232020World Meteorological DayUnited Nations observance

Quick Facts

World Meteorological Day marks the anniversary of the World Meteorological Organization's establishment on March 23, 1950.

World Meteorological Day 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

World Meteorological Day 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
World Meteorological DayEnglish
Día Mundial de la MeteorologíaSpanish
יום המטאורולוגיה העולמיHebrew
اليوم العالمي للرصد الجويArabic
세계 기상의 날Korean
Welttag der MeteorologieGerman

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Fun Holidays on March 23, 2017

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