Statement

Environment Canada Celebrates World Meteorological Day With Expanded Weather Forecast Services

OTTAWA ON-- March 23, 2009 -- Environment Minister Jim Prentice made the following statement on the occasion of World Meteorological Day, which is celebrated each year on March 23rd by the World Meteorological Organization. This year’s theme is “Weather, Climate and the Air We Breathe”

“Canadians love their weather, and with its 138-year history of forecasting in Canada’s challenging weather environment, Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service is home to some of the world’s foremost weather forecasting experts. We are proud to work with the World Meteorological Organization to help advance research and improve weather forecasting operations in Canada and around the world.  

“We work continuously to meet the changing needs and priorities of Canadians and Canadian business sectors by investing in staff training, advanced weather research and the latest computer technologies. 

“Earlier this month, we introduced changes to our extended five-day weather forecast by expanding it to include forecasts for a full seven 7 days.This addition of a sixth and seventh day in the forecast will be of particular benefit to weather-sensitivesectors of the economy such as transportation, agriculture, forestry, energy and construction. The new service also means that Canadians will have access to weekend weather forecasts earlier in the week, so they can plan and prepare for weekend weather conditions.

“In partnership with Health Canada, we are also investing in information tools to help Canadians protect their health.  The Air Quality Health Index helps Canadians make decisions about their health by providing them with information on air quality conditions in the community they live in.  It has already been successfully rolled out in a number of communities across Canada, including the Greater Toronto Area and communities across British Columbia, with additional locations to follow in the future.

“Taken together, our government’s investments in weather forecasting and in tools like the Air Quality Health Index are helping Canadians stay informed on weather and air quality issues that affect them and their families.”

For more information about the World Meteorological Organization, please visit the following Web site:  www.wmo.ch/wmd/.

For more information on Environment Canada’s latest weather information please consult: www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/.

For more information on the Air Quality Health Index please consult www.airhealth.ca.

For further information, please contact:

Frédéric Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment
(819) 997-1441

Environment Canada Media Relations
(819) 934-8008
1-888-908-8008