The winners of the WMO International Weather Apps Awards 2020 will be announced during a live virtual event taking place at 12:00UTC on Tuesday, December 15.
Launched in August 2020, this year’s awards sought apps that bring “good science, great design and user experience together to inform and educate the user”, according to Gerald Fleming, chair of the international jury for the awards. He said, “There has been a tremendous change in how people access weather information over the past decade or two, driven by the smartphone. Now anyone with a suitable app has access to weather information on demand. By organizing these awards, the WMO hopes to put the focus on combining both quality of content and quality of presentation.”
The awards comprise three groups – Innovation and promotion of the use of weather and climate information for development, Specialized apps, and Public weather forecasts and information – which are split into sub-categories and include entries from both public and private sector companies, as well as non-profits and individuals.
“Each entrant provided some basic information about the individual or organization, and then provided an overview of the app and a link to where it can be found. There were further questions [on the entry form] on the target audience for the app, the information sources used, and some other questions that looked to clarify the app functionality,” explained Fleming. “The judging panel then evaluated the entries against a list of criteria including the quantity and quality of weather and/or climate information with respect to the intended targeted audience of the app, the credibility and attribution of data sources, graphic design and innovation, user-friendliness, and accessibility [language versions and localization options].”
WMO partnered with a number of private sector and academic bodies, such as UKi Media & Events, the Association of Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry (HMEI), the International Association of Broadcast Meteorology, and the Global Weather Enterprise Forum to publicize the event and encourage app developers to put their work forward.
“We hope to achieve a recognition that the best weather apps are reflections of multiple levels of excellence. Weather apps are very new, and this is a good time to take stock of how they have developed, of how the creativity of app designers has tackled the challenge of telling the weather story through the medium of the smartphone, and of recognizing and honoring those who have delivered exceptional quality in weather apps,” Fleming concluded.
The virtual awards ceremony will take place on December 15. Click here for more information.