National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Storm Tracking Across the Plains; Powerful Pacific System is Approaching

Some heavy rain and possible flash flooding may affect the Central Plains through Thursday. Meanwhile, wintry weather conditions will spread through portions of Central and Northern Plains. A powerful storm system is forecast to approach the Pacific Northwest, then spreading inland and down through California through the end of this week. A series of storms will impact Alaska into the weekend. Read More >


The World Meteorological Organization


The The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the The United Nations (UN) of which 179 States and 6 Territories are Members. It was created:

  • To facilitate worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for making meteorological observations as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology, and to promote the establishment and maintenance of centers charged with the provision of meteorological and related services;
  • To promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for the rapid exchange of meteorological and related information;
  • To promote standardization of meteorological and related observations and to ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics;
  • To further the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, agriculture and other human activities;
  • To promote activities in operational hydrology and to further close co-operation between Meteorological and hydrological Services;
  • To encourage research and training in meteorology and, as appropriate, in related fields, and to assist in coordinating the international aspects of such research and training.

In support of the communications aspects of the WMO World Weather Watch, the National Weather Service uses the Gateway in supporting the WMO. This is accomplished by operating the WMO Region IV "Regional Telecommunication Hub" (RTH) on the Global Telecommunication System. The RTH collects regional data and products and switches onto the GTS all meteorological data and products received as required through prior established data requirements.

The WMO Member countries have a Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) meeting every two years, in which new code recommendated changes, telecommunication protocol recommendations, and Abbreviated Heading Table updates are approved. After approval these changes are entered into the WMO codes manual 306 and 386. The last meeting of CBS was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The final report of the 2000 CBS XII [1,025K pdf] attached record of actions contain the new recommendations and can be reviewed for the most current changes approved.