280 Replacement of the Canadian Weather Radar Network

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Zurich DEFG (Swissotel Chicago)
Jim M.C. Young, EC, Toronto, ON, Canada

AMS Radar Conference 2017 (Chicago, USA)

Replacement of the Canadian Weather Radar Network”

Jim M.C. Young, Marie-Elaine Boivin & Peter Leibiuk

Meteorological Service of Canada - Environment & Climate Change Canada

Canada’s weather radar network has 31 radars, including two radars operated in partnership with the Department of National Defence and one owned by McGill University. On February 28, 2017, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change for the Government of Canada announced investments to modernize its weather-forecasting infrastructure. A $83-million contract was awarded for 20 new weather radars that are to be built across the country by 2023 starting this fall. This exciting multi-year infrastructure project aims at replacing the existing mixed national network of aging and obsolete single-polarized radars with new and modern dual-polarized radar systems. Plans also include a small network extension with an additional radar to be installed in the Lower Athabasca region in Alberta. The contract also includes options to install and replace up to 13 additional radars in the current radar network, within the same time frame.

Accurate weather information is critical to the health, safety and economic prosperity of Canadians as well as to security, defence, emergency management and search and rescue. A new modernized radar network is a central element of Environment and Climate Chance Canada’s monitoring infrastructure and in ensuring its long-term sustainability and reliability.

The approach used in designing the modernization considers many factors - such as climatology, qualitative and quantitative user requirements and lessons learned from the operation and support of the existing network. We will present an overview of the process as well as progress to date.

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