Space Weather

Inter-Programme Team on Space Weather Information, Systems and Services (IPT-SWeISS)

The 68th session of the executive Council (EC-68) in 2016 approved a Four-year Plan for WMO’s Coordination of Space Weather Activities 2016-2019 (FYP2016-19) and requested the Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) and the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) to establish an Inter-Programme Team on Space Weather Information, Systems and Services (IPT-SWeISS).  This team is continuing with the work of the Inter-Programme Coordination Team on Space Weather (ICTSW) initiated in 2010, to fulfill the tasks identified in the FYP2016-19.


The responsibility of IPT-SWeISS is to coordinate space weather activities within the WMO Programmes, to maintain linkage with the constituent bodies and their relevant subsidiary groups, to maintain linkage with partner organizations, and to provide guidance to WMO Members.  IPT-SWeISS is established under CAeM and CBS which will provide joint oversight in consultation with each other via their presidents.

IPT-SWeISS Terms of Reference  (November 2016)

Main Tasks

  1. Integration of Space Weather observations, through review of space- and surface-based observation requirements, harmonization of space-based sensor specifications, monitoring plans for Space Weather observations;
  2. Standardization and enhancement of Space Weather data exchange and delivery through the WMO Information System (WIS);
  3. Coordinating the development of SPW best practices for end-products and services, including, for example, quality assurance guidelines and emergency warning procedures, in collaboration with aviation and other major application sectors;
  4. Encouraging the dialogue between the research and operational space weather communities;
  5. Organization of capacity-building, training and outreach activities towards WMO Members and Space Weather potential users;
  6. Provision of guidance to WMO Members and Programmes on Space Weather matters, and conduct appropriate actions as requested by CBS and CAeM;
  7. Oversee the development and review of OSCAR so that it meets the needs of WIGOS for information concerning user space weather observing system capabilities.


IPT-SWeISS will be composed of members nominated by the relevant technical commissions, selected WMO Members and points of contacts nominated by the regional associations and associate members including representatives of ISES and other partners or major user applications.

IPT-SWeISS members shall cover the various fields of expertise necessary to address space weather matters within WMO and will contribute to the relevant expert teams or other groups of WMO technical commissions including: CAeM, CBS, Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO), and Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS).


The IPT-SWeISS has two co-chairs nominated by the CAeM and CBS respectively. The team works primarily by teleconferences and holds one or more face-to-face meetings per year.

  • Co-chair nominated by CAeM:  Xiaoxin Zhang (China, CMA)
  • Co-chair nominated by CBS: R Rutledge (USA, NOAA)
  • IPT-SWeISS Membership  (Updated in May 2018)

Four-year Plan 2016-2019

Four-year Plan for WMO’s Coordination of Space Weather Activities 2016-2019

(English - French - Russian - Spanish - Arabic- Chinese)


The achievements of the IPT-SWeISS in 2017–2019, which illustrate the broad field of activities, including cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); updating a WMO baseline document "Statement of Guidance for Space Weather Observation"; and radio frequency coordination for space weather observation.  Those activities to fulfil the tasks identified in FYP2016-19 benefit from WMO involvement in space weather, demonstrate the ability of WMO to effectively facilitate progress in this area, and play a recognized role in the international space weather community through IPT-SWeISS.  Many of these activities are still ongoing.  Within IPT-SWeISS four task teams (TTs) have been established and the above main tasks were assigned as follows:

  • TT-SYS: Space weather basic systems, including issues related to observation techniques and networks, data management and exchange, data centres, and space climatology;
  • TT-SCI: Space weather science, including issues related to modelling, model evaluation and verification, interaction with climate, and transition from research to operations;
  • TT-APP: Space weather applications, including a requirements evaluation, the delivery of services, capacity building and user interaction;
  • Ad-hoc TT-AVI: Space weather aviation, including issues related to the development of auditing procedures for identifying space weather centres capable of providing space weather services for aviation.

Some highlights are: (1) the WMO Statement of Guidance has been updated; (2) the introduction of space weather into the WMO OSCAR/Space database and the WMO Rolling Review of Requirements; (3) the auditing, by WMO at the specific request of ICAO, of potential candidates to provide space weather information for international air navigation.

Four-year Plan 2020-23

A Four-year Plan for WMO’s Coordination of Space Weather Activities 2020-2023 (FYP2020-23) was drafted by IPT-SWeISS and approved by the Eighteenth World Meteorological Congress (Cg-18) in 2019.  The implementation of space weather services and applications aligned with the FYP2020-23 is expected to provide significant benefits to WMO Members, in terms of more precise observations and improved

Four-year Plan for WMO’s Coordination of Space Weather Activities 2020-2023

(English - French - Russian - Spanish - Arabic- Chinese)


Final Report of the first IPT-SWeISS meeting (Geneva, Switzerland, June 2017)

Final Report of the second IPT-SWeISS meeting (Tokyo, Japan, May 2018)

Third IPT-SWeISS meeting (Brussels, Belgium, 25-27 November 2019)