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date: 15 June 2024

History of the Hydrometeorological Service of Belaruslocked

History of the Hydrometeorological Service of Belaruslocked

  • Irina Danilovich, Irina DanilovichInstitute for Nature Management, NAS of Belarus
  • Raisa AuchynikavaRaisa AuchynikavaBelarussian Geographical Society
  •  and Victoria SlonoskyVictoria SlonoskyCentre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal, McGill University


The first weather observations within the modern territory of Belarus go back to ancient times and are found as mentions of weather conditions in chronicles. Hydrometeorology in those times was not a defined science but connected to the everyday needs of people in different regions. In the period from 1000 to 1800, there were first efforts to document outstanding weather conditions and phenomena. They are stored in chronicles, books, and reports.

The first instrumental observations started in the early 1800s. They have varying observing practices and periods of observations. The hydrometeorological network saw the active expansion of observations in the following century, but the network was destroyed at the beginning of the civil war (1917–1922). Five years later, hydrometeorological activity resumed, and the foundation of meteorological services of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was initiated. The next years saw a complicated Belarusian hydrometeorological service formation and reorganization.

The meteorological bureau was formed in 1924, and this year is considered the official date of the Hydrometeorological Service of Belarus foundation, despite multiple changes in title and functions during its course. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945) people’s courage and efforts were directed to saving the existing network of hydrometeorological observations and providing weather services for military purposes. The postwar period was characterized by the implementation of new methods of weather forecasting and new forms of hydrometeorological information. Later decades were marked by the invention and implementation of new observational equipment. The Hydrometeorological Service of Belarus in this period was a testing ground within the Soviet Union for the development of meteorological tools and devices.

The current Hydrometeorological Service of Belarus is described as an efficient, modern-equipped, and constantly developing weather service.


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