What is meteorology and why is it important?

Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere, atmospheric phenomena, and atmospheric effects on our weather. Meteorology is important because of the impact of air conditions on life.

First of all weather forecasting has a vital role in preparing for extreme weather conditions such as high temperatures, heavy rain in order to prevent disasters.

Second, long term weather forecasting is important for agriculture. Drought can cause starvation. Meteorology is important for farmers since crops need water to grow up.

Meteorology is also important for both air and marine transportation. Windy weather effect planes and ships. Lightning can be dangerous for planes. High seas can impact on shipping. Airports may stop their operations and ships stay in harbours in extreme weather conditions.

It is also important so we can determine our daily activities and go about these in safety.

Safe Communities Portugal and the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere have therefore collaborated together in order to promote the importance of the IPMA’s work in our day to day lives. The purpose of this page is to provide an introduction to their work and where more detailed information on their excellent comprehensive website can be found.

Simply click on the tab on the right of this page to link to the relevant pages of the IPMA website.


Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere  (IPMA)

The IPMA is a public institute, integrated in the indirect administration of the State, endowed with administrative and financial autonomy and its own patrimony.

The IPMA, IP, continues the attributions of the Ministry of the Sea, under the oversight and tutelage of the respective minister.

The strategic guidelines and goals for IPMA, I. P., as well as the monitoring of their implementation, are articulated between members of the Government responsible for the sea and science.

IPMA has responsibilities at national territory level in the areas of the sea and atmosphere. Focusing its research efforts on projects that accrue to direct applications for use in operating activities, pursuing continuous improvement in the information made available to its users whether for commercial use or public service and in particular directed to the safeguard of people and property.



The IPMA is the state laboratory whose mission is to promote and coordinate scientific research, technological development, innovation and service on the seas and atmosphere, ensuring the implementation of national strategies and policies in their areas of expertise, thus contributing to the economic and social development. IPMA, IP, is the national authority in the fields of meteorology, aeronautical meteorology, climate, seismology, and geomagnetism.



IPMA should be an institution of reference at international level, for the accuracy and effectiveness with which it performs its technical and scientific duties of support for state action, as well as the relevance and impact of R & D that develops.



Competence, Reliability, Accuracy, Efficiency.



Marine – Support to strategic plans in term of analysis and surveys

Meteorological, Seismological and Biological survey and monitoring

Investigation and development in the areas of:

  • Climate change;
  • Remote sensing;
  • Risk evaluation;
  • Tsunami early warning system;
  • Assessment and prediction of environmental status
  • Fisheries Science and Management
  • Innovative technologies for the development of aquaculture
  • Support for value-added activities
  • Development in technologies and exploration of new products