Harper Government invests in weather infrastructure to improve forecasts, warnings
Canadians to benefit from more accurate and timely weather forecasts
January 15, 2015 – Calgary, Alberta – Environment Canada
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, announced today a major investment to improve the quality of weather forecasts and weather warnings to Canadians. Through this investment, Canadians will have access to more reliable and accurate weather forecasts based on the most modern technology available.
This $134 million investment will allow Environment Canada to make significant upgrades to the monitoring networks and to the weather warning and forecast systems. With these upgrades, Environment Canada will communicate weather warnings even more accurately and with more lead time to Canadian citizens and weather sensitive business sectors, such as agriculture, tourism and transportation, enabling them to be better prepared.
The weather, water and climate data used by Environment Canada to produce warnings and forecasts is provided by a set of observing networks across the country that includes:
- weather radars;
- land-based and marine surface weather and climate stations;
- upper air stations (balloon-borne instruments called radiosondes);
- the Canadian Lightning Detection Network; and,
- satellite ground receiving stations that receive Canadian and international satellite data.
- Environment Canada’s monitoring infrastructure includes 31 weather radars, 84 lightning detection sensors, 125 fixed buoys and automatic marine stations installed on ships, 31 stations for launching balloon-borne observations of the upper atmosphere, satellite data, approximately 1200 surface weather and climate stations.
- Each year, Environment Canada issues on average 1.5 million public forecasts, 15,000 severe weather warnings, 500,000 aviation forecasts, and 200,000 marine, ice and sea state forecasts.
- Economic Action Plan 2013 announced $248 million over five years to improve federal infrastructure such as radars, and surface weather and climate monitoring stations, which are the backbone of Canada’s severe weather warning service.
- This investment is in addition to the $78.7 million for weather monitoring announced in Economic Action Plan 2011.
“Through our Government’s investment in our critical weather monitoring infrastructure and innovative technologies, communities and business sectors across the country will have access to more timely and accurate weather information based on the most modern technology available.”
– The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council
“As Canadians know all too well, weather forecasting is not just about trying to determine whether to bring an umbrella to work. It is about how we travel, work, play, build our homes, and conduct business. Today’s announcement will help Canadians better plan their activities.”
– Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament for Calgary-Centre
Investment of $107.5 million for modernizing Environment Canada’s weather monitoring networks
Investment of $26.5 million for modernizing Environment Canada’s weather warning and forecast systems
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