Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) scheme

The Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) scheme VOS logo

This is the international scheme, first developed almost 150 years ago, by which ships plying the various oceans and seas of the world are recruited for taking and transmitting meteorological observations. VOS ships make a highly important contribution to the Global Observing System (GOS) of the World Weather Watch (WWW), and increasingly to global climate studies.. Relevant standard and recommended practices and procedures are contained in Part III, Section 2.2.3 of the Manual on the Global Observing System (WMO-No.544) as well as in Chapter 6 of the (provisional) Guide to MMS (WMO-471). Port Meteorological Officers (PMOs) having maritime experience are appointed for recruiting voluntary observing ships and assisting them in their meteorological work. The list of the VOS, indicating name of ship, call sign, routes, type and instruments onboard as well as other metadata, appears in the Ship Catalogue, WMO-47. See the VOS web site for additional information.

VOSClim is an ongoing project within JCOMM's Voluntary Observing Ships' Scheme. It aims to provide a high-quality subset of marine meteorological data, with extensive associated metadata, to be available in both real-time and delayed mode to support global climate studies.

(page last updated 23 April, 2016 )