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A History of the Meteorology of Iran

Atmospheric studies have always been a subject for Iranian scientists. Therefore, many astrologists have assigned a part to atmospheric issues. Mohammad ibn Zakarya Razi, Ibn Sina(Avicenna), Omar Khayyam, Abu Rayhan Biruni (Alberonius) and famous Persian poet, Anvari are among Iranian philosopher and scientists who have left scripts about atmospheric issues in their works.

Regular meteorological activities started on measuring the atmospheric elements by the embassies of Russia and Britain in Tehran and Southern oil zones and the collected information was transferred to archival system of mentioned countries, for probable use in their research programs. Academic meteorology was set in the program of study of the Barzegaran School in 1919, instructed by French teachers, along with setting up a platform at the same location and measuring temperature, relative humidity and precipitation. This platform was completed in 1948 and measured most of the atmospheric elements. Gradually, due to the serious needs of agriculture and irrigation sectors, numbers of stations were founded across the country upon the necessity, under the supervision of the Independence Irrigation Agency of the time Ministry of Agriculture.

After World War II, Allied forces established a small meteorological unit to insure their aircrafts fights safety to meet their needs to aeronautical meteorology. At that time, Independence Irrigation Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture began training a group of meteorologist observers who graduated in 1948 and started to work at meteorological stations. Civil Aviation also established meteorological stations in major airports of the country because of the need to weather information. Due to the serious needs of planners to climatic information and statistics from various parts of country and lack of necessary coordination in establishing meteorological stations which was done by different sectors and organizations, time authorities recognized the establishment of an independent meteorological division essential and the Meteorological Administration was founded in 1955 as a subdivision of the Ministry of Roads.

Later on, this Meteorological Administration changed into an independent organization under the Ministry of War and after Islamic Revolution it became affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Transportation once again. After establishment of the Meteorological Administration 1955, all stations founded by different departments were conceded to the Administration. These stations were synoptic, climatology and rain gauge stations which performed their own observations. Iranian Meteorological Administration became the 103rd member of World Meteorological Organization in 1959. Iranian Meteorological Organization served the transportation and aviation industry more than other sectors before Islamic Revolution and less attention was paid to applied meteorology, nevertheless, after Islamic Revolution it serves in further fields like providing hydrological and agricultural meteorology services along with its major responsibility, promotion of transportation safety and providing services to defense and security sectors and risk management in the country.

After the 10th Parliament of I.R. of Iran endorsement and the Guardian Council approval for the merger of the two Ministries of “Roads and Transportation” and “Housing and Urban” as the “Ministry of Roads and Urban Development”, I.R. of Iran Meteorological Organization became affiliated with the new Ministry.