Science is Benefiting You: Weather and Meteorology

Weather and Meteorology

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Narrator: Every year, Canadians experience a full range of seasons. We live through the wet months of spring, the extreme heat and humidity of summer, the frosty days of fall, and of course – the bitter cold and unrelenting snow of winter. Environment Canada has hundreds of scientists, engineers, meteorologists, climatologists, technicians and specialists working hard to forecast and study our ever-changing weather conditions…so that Canadians can be better prepared for what the weather brings.

Jouni Makkonen: Environment Canada’s Meterological Service

My name is Jouni Makkonen.  I work for the Meteorological Service of Canada and I’m with one of the Mobile Upper Air Stations. This station is one of many other sites in the country that send radiosondes into the upper atmosphere to collect data. These radiosondes are carried into the upper atmosphere by large balloons. The data that we can get from these is barometric pressure, relative humidity, temperature, direction of winds and speed of the winds.  The data that we can collect from these is very important for the weather forecasters in terms of long term weather predictions and aviation weather forecasts.

Narrator: But the information collected by these radiosondes is only part of the scientific process that goes into weather forecasting. Satellite imagery and other scientific data are collected as well.

Dov Bensimon: Environment Canada’s Canadian Meteorological Centre

I’m Dov Bensimon.  I’m a meteorologist here at the Canadian Meteorology Centre in Dorval, Quebec. This is CMC Operations.  This is where we analyze weather, we look at future weather, we look at output of numerical models that help to produce forecasts that Canadians see every day. The work we do here at the Canadian Meteorological Centre benefits Canadians because we are able to gather weather information from all around the world and use it in the models that we use to produce weather forecasts.

Narrator: State of the art computers are also used in the creation of ice forecasts for Canada’s navigable waters. In a country where ice touches so many lives, it’s especially important for the hunting and fishing patterns of aboriginal peoples, the tourism industry, as well as for use in offshore resources, marine transportation and fishing. 

Trudy Wohlleben: Environment Canada’s Canadian Ice Service

I’m Trudy Wohlleben at the Canadian Ice Service here in Ottawa.  Our mission here is two-fold:  the first is the safety of Canadians in Canadian waters and to this end we prepare ice charts and ice hazard bulletins. Our second part of our mission is to create a database of all of our ice information so that future generations will have a climatology on which to base their future environmental decisions.

Narrator: Environment Canada works hard every day to produce accurate and reliable weather forecasts, and to issue timely weather warnings in order to give Canadians enough time to keep themselves and their families safe from harm.

Gilles Brien: Environment Canada’s Quebec Storm Prediction Centre

My name is Gilles Brien, I’m a meteorologist for Environment Canada.  Here at the Montreal Storm Prediction Centre, we issue more than 2,000 weather watch and warnings throughout the year to protect the public against tornados, heat waves, rain, snow. Once the data has been acquired by the CMC, that is the Canadian Meteorology Centre, the supercomputer gives us projections, maps and numerical data for forecasts for the next five to seven days ahead.

Narrator: All of Environment Canada’s weather information can be freely accessed by visiting the department’s comprehensive website weatheroffice.gc.ca.  Here, you can see actual satellite and radar images of the day’s weather, take a look at your seven-day forecast, and much more.  It is Environment Canada’s mission to keep you informed on a daily basis about the weather that surrounds you. We’re committed to constantly improving the way we deliver this information, and work hard to use the most innovative and modern technologies in order to provide the most accurate forecasts and warnings. This way - when you step outside - you’ll be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way!

Experts together:  These are just some of the ways Environment Canada’s science is benefiting you!