Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW-PIB)

IMGW-PIB is a research and development unit established on the basis of the decree No. 338/72 of 30.12.1972, issued by the Council of Ministers. IMGW-PIB operates in support of public sector as well as commercial firms and offers various services and expertises in the field of meteorology and hydrology.

The Maritime Branch of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management was founded in Gdynia, 1921. It is one of the five branches of the IMGW exclusively dealing with marine aspects of meteorology and conducting oceanographic service as statutory task. The Branch has a staff of ca. 170 employees including 23 scientists.

The meteorological services of the Maritime Branch in Gdynia extend to the Pomeranian and Western-Pomeranian provinces and the Polish territorial waters of the Baltic Sea. The services include:

  • carrying out the tasks of the Polish Hydrological-Meteorological and Oceanographic Services,
  • providing and disseminating meteorological service and warnings against alarming atmospheric phenomena, flood risk, storm surges at sea, ice cover of the sea and rivers,
  • providing meteorological services for the civil aviation,
  • research in the field of climatology and methodological research regarding marine and hydrological-meteorological forecasting,
  • monitoring of the Polish marine areas of the Baltic Sea and providing analyses of the marine environment ecological status,
  • co-operating with the regional autonomous administration regarding the identification of flood risk areas and flood warnings,
  • providing opinions and expertise regarding information on hydrologic and meteorological situation, on pollution of the Polish part of the Baltic Sea, etc.,
  • participation in international scientific projects in the field of marine environment,
  • contribution to the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in the responsibility range of the Maritime Branch,
  • multifaceted international co-operation with the Baltic countries under the umbrella of the Helsinki Convention as well as bilateral co-operation with Lithuania, Germany and Russian Federation within the meteorological and hydrological services.

The Department of Oceanography and Baltic Sea Monitoring is part of the Maritime Branch in Gdynia. The Department is involved in regular measurements of the physical and chemical parameters of the marine environment and coastal atmosphere. The studies carried out in the Department concern changes and trends occurring in the marine environment. Since 1990, within the National Environmental Monitoring Program the monitoring of the Polish sector of the Baltic Sea is conveyed according to the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) methodological framework of the Cooperative Monitoring of the Baltic Sea (COMBINE).

The in situ measurements and observations are done onboard r/v „Baltica”, a research vessel co-owned by the Sea Fisheries Institute – National Research Institute and the IMGW PIB. The ship is equipped with innovative instruments to collect sea water and measure physical and chemical properties of the sea as well as collect biological material and marine sediments. R/v “Baltica” operates in the off-shore areas while in the shallow, coastal regions a motor boat – m/y “Littorina” – is used.

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Marine research at IMGW: (from top left clockwise) C-pod deployment, monitoring of the Baltic Sea Harbour Porpoise (SAMBAH project) (credit: R.Skąpski, March 2011); Zooplankton sampling with WP-2 net (credit: N.Drgas, June 2011); R.V. Baltica in the home port of Gdynia (credit: N.Drgas, June 2011); and “Littorina” – boat used for sampling in the near-shore zone (credit: J.Woroń, June 2011)