Observation in absolute darkness and daytime under every atmospheric situation is one of the advantages of thermal imaging systems. In spite of increasing trend of using these systems, there are still lots of difficulties in analysing thermal images due to the variable features of pedestrians and atmospheric situations. In this paper an efficient method is proposed for detecting pedestrians in outdoor thermal images that adapts to variable atmospheric situations. In the first step, the type of atmospheric situation is estimated based on the global features of the thermal image. Then, for each situation, a relevant algorithm is performed for pedestrian detection. To do this, thermal images are divided into three classes of atmospheric situations: a) fine such as sunny weather, b) bad such as rainy and hazy weather, c) hot such as hot summer days where pedestrians are darker than background. Then 2-Dimensional Double Density Dual Tree Discrete Wavelet Transform (2D DD DT DWT) in three levels is acquired from input images and the energy of low frequency coefficients in third level is calculated as the discriminating feature for atmospheric situation identification. Feed-forward neural network (FFNN) classifier is trained by this feature vector to determine the category of atmospheric situation. Finally, a predetermined algorithm that is relevant to the category of atmospheric situation is applied for pedestrian detection. The proposed method in pedestrian detection has high performance so that the accuracy of pedestrian detection in two popular databases is more than 99%.