Adopting the justified request of Prof. Milan Nedeljkovic, Minister of Education and Religion, Dr Vladan Djordjevic passed on 27 September 1888 the Regulation on the establishment of unified network of meteorological stations in the Kingdom of Serbia.
That marks the foundation of national meteorological service in Serbia.
Regular meteorological measuring started even before that date. Vladimir Jaksic, Professor in Secondary School, started on 1 January 1848 in Belgrade, on his plot in the part of city called Senjak, regular measuring of temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind and air pressure.
In 1856 well-organized network of meteorological stations became operative in 20 towns of Serbia, and in 1857 there were 27 of them and that was the densest network in Europe at that time. Prof. Jaksic left very significant data on water level variations on the Sava river from that period.
Belgrade Observatory was founded on 26 March 1887 and under the leadership of Prof. M. Nedeljkovic became central institution for data collection from the whole Serbia.
In August 1902, international exchange began of coded data and making of the first weather forecast. Weather reports and weather forecasts were published in the newspaper “Politika” as early as 1912.
Significant development of meteorology in Serbia occurred with the coming of academician Pavle Vujevic to the post of Director of Belgrade Observatory at the beginning of XX century. At the same time, academician Milutin Milankovic, one of the most recognized scientists in XX century, started his work in the field of climatology. His papers in the field of solar climate define the theory of ice ages.
During I World War, from 1916 to 1918, Belgrade Observatory and also the whole meteorological service of the Kingdom of Serbia were under German occupation command. Prof. Konrad, prominent Professor of Meteorology from Wien, headed the Observatory. Thanks to him the Service was preserved.
As a part of meteorological service of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in the period from 1918 to 1941, meteorological service of Serbia was responsible for the network of meteorological stations in Macedonia, Montenegro and a part of Dalmatia. Also at that time, meteorological stations on liberated Kosovo and Metohija were established. Meteorological Observatory in Belgrade became a collecting center for the whole Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Meteorological service of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia became a member of International Meteorological Organization-IMO (founded in Brussels in 1853 and in Wien in 1873) as a predecessor of present World Meteorological Organization, WMO. Academician Milutin Milankovic was our representative there for many years.
Establishment of Hydrographic Department with General Water Direction in 1922 marked the unification of the hydrological service of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and it is recognized as a beginning of organized hydrological service. First water measuring stations were placed on the Sava river near Belgrade in 1920 and also on the Danube near Smederevo. First hydrometric measurements on water courses in Serbia began in 1923. At the same time began reporting service of water level reports aimed at forecasting possible flooding. At the request of the International Danube Commision reporting for the river Danube started in 1922.
In II World War many meteorological and hydrological stations ceased their work with the exception of Meteorological Observatory in Belgrade.
On 7 January 1947, the Regulation of the Government of Federative People`s Republic of Yugoslavia, Federal Hydrometeorological Institute (FHMI) was founded unifying the hydrometeorologica service on the territory of the whole country. At the invitation of the organizers, representatives of the FHMI signed on 22 September 1947 in Washington, a Convention on the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Convention was ratified on 23 March 1950. Our meteorological service was one of 45 world meteorological services, founders of WMO. In this way, the continuity of the affiliation of our service to the headquarters of world services was kept from the International Meteorological Organization to WMO.
Newly founded states that became independent after seceding from former Yugoslavia, starting from 1991, became new members of WMO. Meteorological Service of Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia (SRY), now State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, is the successor of founding rights of WMO. WMO has never imposed sanctions against our service and has never ousted it from any working body although UN imposed economic sanctions against SRY.
During NATO agression in 1999 instruments and facilities of our service were damaged or completely destroyed. In February 2000, WMO asked its Member countries to assist our service because of the war damages. After the report of WMO experts, assistance was rendered through the VCP programme. So far, the assistance of meteorological services of China and Japan has been rendered.
In the period of the coming of international forces to Kosovo, all meteorological and hydrological stations were completely destroyed. For five years the area of Kosovo and Metohija has been a “black hole” on the meteorological map of Europe.
After the FHMI was abolished in April 2003, Republic Hydrometeorological Institute of Serbia was entrusted, as its legal successor, with all its responsibilities, especially the international cooperation.