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specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) created to promote the establishment of a worldwide meteorological observation system, the application of meteorology to other fields, and the development of national meteorological services in less-developed countries. The WMO was preceded by the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), a nongovernmental organization of the heads of various national weather services founded in 1873. The WMO was created by the World Meteorological Convention, which was adopted at the 12th director's conference of the IMO in 1947. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WMO began operations in 1951.