Weatheradio Canada

Weatheradio Canada (French: Radiométéo Canada) is a Canadian weather radio network owned and operated by Environment and Climate Change Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada division. The network transmits in both official languages (English and French) from 230 sites across Canada. Weatheradio Canada like their telephone service, uses the Starcaster[1] Text to Speech, which has been used for many years and is owned by STR-SpeechTech Ltd.

Weatheradio Canada
Frequency162.4–162.55 MHz
Programming
FormatWeather radio
Ownership
OwnerEnvironment and Climate Change Canada / Meteorological Service of Canada
Links
WebsiteWeatheradio Canada

In most locations, the service broadcasts on one of seven specially-allocated VHF radio frequencies, audible only on dedicated "weather band" receivers or any VHF radio capable of receiving 10 kHz bandwidth FM signals centred on these assigned channels, which are located within the larger "public service band". The radio frequencies used by Weatheradio Canada are the same as those used by its American counterpart, NOAA Weather Radio, and receivers designed for use in one country are compatible for use in the other. Since 2004, the service has used Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alerting technology to disseminate severe weather bulletins. Weatheradio has indicated that, in 2021, it also plans to add other hazard and civil emergency information (such as natural disasters, technological accidents, AMBER alerts and terrorist attacks) to its broadcasts.[2]

In some locations, primarily national parks, provincial parks and remote communities with little or no local media service, a transmitter operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation carries the service on a standard AM or FM broadcast frequency. As of August 2007, most of these AM and FM transmitters were unlicensed by the CRTC under a special license exemption granted to low-power non-commercial broadcasters.[3]

HistoryEdit

In 1976, Environment Canada's Weatheradio service was launched and expanded to 30 locations in roughly 10 years. In the early-1990s, increased government investment permitted major expansion of the network to the present size of 179 sites.

In September 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada began soliciting feedback on possible decommissioning of 48 of its 230 transmitters. ECCC stated that the transmitters were predominantly located in areas of overlapping coverage and where alternate methods of access (such as cell phones and the Internet) were available.[4]

On May 26th, 2021, ECCC announced that during the Required Weekly Test, they will announce the transformation of the new voice technology system, which the old one had been in use for over 27 years. [5] Among the new voices for the service includes Nuance Tom, a newer version of a previous voice on NOAA Weather Radio. These transformations were to begin June 1st and end on New Years Eve of 2021.[6]

FrequenciesEdit

 
Example of AM Weatheradio Canada station antenna

Weatheradio Canada signals are transmitted using FM (10 kHz bandwidth), with band spacing of 25 kHz. In some areas Weatheradio Canada also transmits on the AM or FM bands. The service uses these frequencies:[7]

  • 162.400 MHz
  • 162.425 MHz
  • 162.450 MHz
  • 162.475 MHz
  • 162.500 MHz
  • 162.525 MHz
  • 162.550 MHz

ProgrammingEdit

Weather information is broadcast in both official languages which is English first then French. Prior to June 2021, broadcasts in Quebec were in the opposite order. The language order became uniform after new systems were installed. Weather alert broadcasts are inserted within the normal playlist, and are available in both official languages. Wind and wave marine forecasts are broadcast on a regular basis on transmitters located near marine zones. However, these and other forms of marine forecasts are more conveniently broadcast on the marine frequency, which is not available on most weather radios. One requires a special receiver capable of receiving the marine frequency, which varies by province. Weather broadcasts also include the UV index for the forecasted day, and for the following day during the UV index season. The index runs from 1 (low) to 11+ (extreme).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Starcaster Text to Speech".
  2. ^ Canada, Environment and Climate Change. "Event codes for the Specific Area Message Encoding - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  3. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-280, August 7, 2007.
  4. ^ Environment and Climate Change Canada (2010-01-28). "Weatheradio: find your network". Canada.ca. Section titled "Weatheradio Canada Status Update – September 3rd, 2020". Retrieved 2021-01-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Bukoski, Brian (2000-01-12). "Applications of Environment Canada's Text-to-Voice System". ams.confex.com. Retrieved 2021-06-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Environment and Climate Change Canada (2021-06-01). "Tweet from". twitter.com. Retrieved 2021-06-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Canada, Environment and Climate Change. "Weatheradio Canada: general information - Canada.ca". www.ec.gc.ca. Retrieved 11 April 2018.

External linksEdit