FAQs - GBON Implementation

1. Where can I find guidance material? 

           A Guide to GBON has been drafted and is being submitted to INFCOM-2 as a draft Recommendation to the Executive Council. The current draft is available here (look for INFCOM-2-d06–1(12)-GBON-GUIDE-ANNEX-draft1_en). 

           Also, a set of guidance material is available from here

2. When do the GBON Technical Regulations come into force? 

           Per Resolution 2 (Cg-Ext(2021)), the GBON Technical Regulations will come into force on 1 January 2023. However, compliance monitoring of GBON will only start after 19th World Meteorological Congress (22 May - 2 June 2023) decision about the initial composition of GBON.

3. Which GBON requirements apply to my country in terms of horizontal and temporal resolution? 

          The requirements are listed in the GBON compliance criteria, approved by TT-GBON, available on the WIGOS webpages. 

4. Is there an upper limit for the number of stations to be designated in GBON? 

            There is no upper limit as such although we don't necessarily recommend designating all possible stations. It is important to make sure that the observations of all GBON stations have appropriate data quality, long term operational commitment, and are routinely reporting their data operationally as required and on a timely basis. For Denmark, the required number at standard density is indeed 3, but there is also a required high density target of 6. Since Denmark has the existing capacity to do 6 stations, this becomes the required target. More stations can be committed to GBON and their data made available according to the following technical regulations: Members should operate surface land observing networks/platforms at horizontal resolutions of 100 km or higher. Where Members operate networks as described in and, Members shall make the observations of these networks available internationally according to   

5. Why does the number of reporting stations in the GBON Gap Analysis not correspond to the number of proposed GBON stations in OSCAR/Surface? 

         One reason could be if there are reporting stations in a country that are not documented in OSCAR/Surface. The GAP Analysis does include such stations if they report sufficient observations, whereas only stations documented in OSCAR/Surface are included in the proposed list of GBON stations. Another reason could be if a WMO Member consists of multiple geographic areas, because there are differences between OSCAR/Surface and the Gap Analysis in how stations in such places are aggregated by WMO Member.

6. How often is the GBON webtool synchronized with OSCAR/Surface? 

             It is synchronized every 24h. 

7. How do the Global and National GBON Gap Analyses differ?  

          The Global Gap Analysis addresses the existing capabilities and availability of data in the international exchange compared to the GBON regulations based on the information available in the WDQMS in January 2022. The analysis is conducted by the WMO Secretariat, and it gives an estimate of number of missing surface and upper-air stations. Whereas the National Gap Analysis is completed by every WMO Member as a national analysis of the required number of surface, upper-air and marine observing stations/platforms to be designated to GBON and the actual number of surface, upper-air and marine stations existing in the country which could be designated to GBON.  

8. How should I complete the National Contribution Plan while there are so many phases (modules)?  

          The modules are intended to be developed in parallel which means that you should start with drafting a plan for those most critical gaps and activities in your NMHS and iterate the plan to be consistent with financial and human resources available and other applicable activities planned for meeting the required GBON regulations. Some activities might not be relevant for some NMHSs.

9. Do I need to follow exactly the guidance and to use the templates given?  

          No. The guidance on the National Gap Analysis and Contribution Plan are only provided as a guidance to the Members and the final analysis and plan can be developed based on the national needs and requirements. The final analysis and the plan are for national purposes only and there is no need to return the final documents to the Secretariat.  

10. How to benefit from SOFF; where can I find information? 

          The Least developed Countries and SIDSs can apply for SOFF full funding package (Readiness, Investment and Compliance phase). Other non SIDS and LDCs ODA eligible countries can apply for SOFF only Readiness phase support. 

Contact: Markus Repnik of SOFF Secretariat: mrepnik@wmo.int, see also https://alliancehydromet.org/soff/

11. If my Country is a peer advisor, can it still apply for SOFF and be assisted by another Country Peer advisor ? 

           Yes. There is no conflict between being SOFF peer advisor and accessing SOFF support as long as the country is a SOFF eligible country.  SOFF eligible countries can be accessed here: https://alliancehydromet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/SOFF-Terms-of-Reference.pdf 

12. What if my Country has large remote areas where it is practically difficult to install and operate GBON stations? 

             It is recognized that in some instances it will be practically difficult for Members to install and maintain operational GBON stations in some remote areas. Members have the opportunity to claim exemption from meeting GBON Technical Regulations per Article 9 of the WMO Convention. In such cases, they shall write to the Secretary General and explain the reasons. An independent committee of experts designated by the INFCOM president in consultation with the INFCOM management group will assess whether a Member claiming Article 9(b) should be regarded as GBON compliant on the basis of the following criteria:  

  1. the reasons stated by the Member are regarded as legitimate, 
  2. there is substantial part of the Member territory compliant to GBON horizontal requirements (for small Countries, if the horizontal requirement for GBON is met thanks to commitment of surrounding Countries to GBON, the Country may still be regarded as GBON compliant if it is at least committing one observing station to GBON); 
  3. there is substantial number of GBON stations committed by the Member that comply with GBON temporal resolution requirements. 

              If the independent committee of experts considers that the Member is GBON compliant, such status will be reflected in the overall compliance status of all Members. In the contrary, the Member will be informed about its non-compliance status by the Secretary General, and be urged to take steps to become compliant. The INFCOM president will inform the Executive Council about the independent committee decision. 

13. What about stations in Antarctica? 

              There is no Country jurisdiction in Antarctica according to the Antarctic Treaty. However, Members operating observing stations in Antarctica are encouraged to make them GBON compliant and to designate them for contributing to GBON. 

14. Is the AMDAR observing system a GBON component and is AMDAR data to be provided on the WIS? 

          Under GBON, Aircraft-based observations, and particularly those provided by Members via the AMDAR observing system are "Recommended" data to be shared under the WMO Unified Data Policy. This means that AMDAR is a GBON component observing system and, while it is recommended to share these data on the WIS, it is not mandatory to do so.