Canada moves to improve severe weather detection

Canada moves to improve severe weather detection | Insurance Business Canada

Canada moves to improve severe weather detection

The federal government is working to improve its ability to anticipate severe weather with plans to update its detection hardware.

Yesterday, the government revealed that it had signed an $83m contract for 20 state-of-the-art weather radars, to be built across the country over the span of seven years starting this fall, The Canadian Press reported.

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The new radars will replace 31 Doppler radars that have seen better days. Some of these old devices have had outages due to wear and tear, compromising their detection capabilities.

The radars, along with a recently-acquired supercomputer, will help citizens better prepare for harsh weather conditions, said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

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“This important investment will help us modernize Canada’s weather service infrastructure and make sure our meteorologists can provide the fastest and most accurate weather forecasts,” McKenna stated.

The government said that the new system will cover more of the country and double the detection range for severe weather events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and snow storms. Radar images of precipitation in drainage basins should aid meteorologists in distinguishing between rain, snow, hail, and freezing rain.

More accurate forecasts could be developed from the newer systems, Environment Canada explained, that could help municipalities with things such as snow clearing, scheduling outdoor festivals, canceling events, and improving air traffic through providing alternative routes to planes.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said earlier this year that severe weather due to climate change is costing the country billions of dollars each year. In 2016 alone, the total amount of insured damage for the year due to severe weather came in at $4.9 billion. IBC warned that the damage caused by inclement weather is on an upward trend, with no signs of slowing down.

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