Federal government acquires new weather detection radars

Published: March 1, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The federal government has announced plans to improve the way Canada anticipates severe weather, but improving detection hardware. In an announcement, yesterday, the government said it has signed an $83 million contract that will introduce state-of-the-art weather radars.

These radars will be set up across the country and will be placed over the next seven years, starting this fall. The new radars will replace the current network of 31 Doppler radars that the government says need to be updated. Indeed, Canadian Press reports that some of these existing installations suffer from outages due to age and wear and tear. This means they are less capable of detecting weather.

With the new radars, the government will pair them with a recently-acquired supercomputer that will provide important information to Canadians on severe weathers, according to Environment Minister Catherine Mckenna.

“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.

Because of the new network, the country will have double the detection capabilities it currently has. The radar will offer potent detection of severe weather events such as hurricanes, thunderstorms, snow fronts, and tornadoes.

Aside from detection capabilities, the new technology could also help to improve forecasts and make them more accurate. Environment Canada points out that the system could help regions
with snow clearing, scheduling outdoor festivals, cancelling events, and improving air traffic through providing alternative routes to planes.