Thursday, August 16, 2007

New weather monitoring initiative announced

From the Winnipeg Free Press - A network of 600 private weather stations is expected to spring up on the Prairies within the next three years, providing invaluable information to farmers, grain merchants, flood forecasters -- and likely Environment Canada itself.

The new weather network, launched Wednesday by U.S.-based WeatherBug in partnership with the Canadian Wheat Board and James Richardson International (JRI), will provide clients with more localized weather information -- from temperature and wind speed to humidity and precipitation -- that will be updated every five seconds.

WeatherBug president Bob Marshall said Wednesday's launch, at a research farm owned by JRI just south of Winnipeg, is the first step in building a national network of more than 1,000 stations that will benefit farmers, schools, emergency managers, businesses and media outlets. "We have the technology to revolutionize the way weather information is gathered and shared in Canada," said Marshall, whose company operates 8,000 weather stations in the United States.

Click here for complete article.

Other links...
CWB weather station project website
CWB station map plot
Real time weather data from CWB rooftop station (includes webcam)

This is great news... a bold new private sector initiative to get lots of real time weather monitoring stations on the ground. This will help provide invaluable mesoscale weather information to fill in the gaps in Environment Canada's limited (and possibly shrinking) network of surface stations. The biggest benefit from this type of expanded network will be the ability to monitor real time rainfall measurements to the forecast and agricultural community, but local effects with wind and tempertaure will also be valuable information. Great to see! By the way, I see some of those Weatherbug weather stations are actually rebranded Davis Vantage Pro stations (which is what I have).

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