• World Meteorological Day is celebrated on March 23
  • It's a time to celebrate the World Meteorological Organization
  • The organization provides weather and climate data to many nations

Today, getting the weather updates for a day or even an entire week is quite easy — you just have to scan through your smartphones. On this World Meteorological Day, let's celebrate the organization that actually helps make this possible.

World Meteorological Day celebrates the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on March 23, 1950, National Today said. It has been observed every year since 1961.

The organization continues to play a crucial role in our lives, although we often don't even realize it. Even how we get to plan our days and weeks sometimes depends on the weather conditions.

The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services works "around the clock" to monitor the world's weather and climate, and the WMO helps facilitate the "free and unrestricted" exchange of this all-important weather and climate information, the organization explained.

"Their early and reliable warnings of severe weather and fluctuations in air quality as well as of climate variability and change allow decision-makers, communities and individuals to be better prepared for weather and climate events," the WMO said. "Their warnings help save life and property, protect resources and the environment and support socio-economic growth."

Let's celebrate World Meteorological Day 2021 by looking at some interesting facts about the organization, its work and the occasion.

It's not just about the weather

Apart from the weather, the WMO also tracks changes in the climate, National Today said. This involves monitoring various variables including the changes in sea levels, temperature fluctuations and greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

"This information is crucial to our understanding of the climate change crises," the outlet said.

This year's theme

Each year, the celebration focuses on a certain theme. In 2017, for instance, the theme focused on clouds. This year, the theme is "The ocean, climate and weather."

According to the WMO, people focus on the atmosphere when they think of weather and climate, but the ocean actually also plays an important role. Covering some 70% of the Earth's surface, the oceans actually play a "central role" in climate change and even the global economy.

"If we ignore the ocean, however, we miss a big piece of the picture," the WMO said.

WMO member states

The WMO consists of 193 member states that are divided into six member territories. Region I consists of Africa, while Region II is Asia. North America, along with Central America and the Caribbean, is Region IV.

Each of the six regions has its own governing regional association. But as a whole, the organization has a president and three vice-presidents, the organization explained. Gerhard Adrian is its current president.

The organization goes way back

Before 1950, the WMO was known as the International Meteorological Association, which was formed to help share information beyond national borders. It was the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress that led to its founding.

Pictured: Representative image of a lightning storm over a city. Pixabay