In 1991 the Australian rock group Crowded House wrote the song “Weather with You” with its popular refrain “Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you". Whatever meaning the band put in this line of lyrics 30 years ago, it represents nicely today’s situation when so many people have the weather (apps) on their smartphones.
Weather forecasting has been a field of intensive innovation for centuries. This innovation has been stimulated and encouraged by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) ever since its creation in 1950. Many stakeholders from the public sector - the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, from the private sector - the weather companies, and from academia - universities and research institutions, have contributed to those innovations.
WMO wants to provide recognition, and stimulate the development, of ever-improving mobile-based applications for weather and climate information. The “WMO International Weather Apps Awards (WIWAA)” was issued for the first time in 2020 as part of the celebrations of the organization’s 70th anniversary. The idea of these awards is to invite developers to participate by submitting their apps for review by an independent international jury. Depending on the success of this first event, the WIWAA may become a regular annual event in the years to come.
The 13-member international jury, with expertise in various fields including weather and climate, IT, communication and social science, recognized 18 Winners and 14 Honorable Mentions in three categories.
Group 1 - Innovation and promotion of the use of weather and climate information for development.
Group 2 - Specialized apps award category.
Group 3 - Public weather forecasts and information (general category).
The competition was launched in August 2020 and received 118 entries from all over the world. The submissions were well balanced between the public sector (38%), private sector (41 %), and others (21 %), including universities, research institutions and private weather enthusiasts.
The ERA4CS project ClimApp has been awarded on 15th of December, 2020 by the WMO International Weather Apps Awards (WIWAA 2020) as follows:
Category 1 - Awards for innovation and promotion of the use of weather and climate information for development
Honorable mention in Sub-category 2 - Award for Originality and Innovation
This is a great Christmas present from the World Meteorological Organization to ClimApp consortium partners, ERA4CS, collaborators, stakeholders, users and funding organizations!