NEWS

Environment Canada prepares to weather Pan Am Games

07/08/2015 07:56 EDT | Updated 07/08/2016 05:59 EDT
While city officials assure us that plans are in place to ease the stress of getting around during the Pan Am Games, one thing they can't plan for is Mother Nature's cooperation.

"Forecasting for an urban environment is difficult since most of our weather stations are in areas that are less built up, like airports," CBC News Toronto meteorologist Jay Scotland says. "To counter this problem, Environment Canada has deployed a record number of new weather stations across the region exclusively for the Games."

Scotland says that for the first time in the GTA's history, real time weather information will be available to forecasters from highly developed areas like the downtown core.

Environment Canada says it will be using cutting edge science and technology "to provide weather forecasting and warning services to ensure the safety of all those attending the Toronto 2015 Games."

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55 weather stations

Enter MESONET, a network of 55 weather and air quality observing stations located across Southern Ontario.

The agency says the stations will collect and report temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind speed and direction, precipitation, and air quality data at different locations around the Games areas, as well as collect and report weather data once every minute.

One station will sit atop the former Maple Leaf Gardens building and one will be floating on Lake Ontario. 

And one will even be on the move.

A mobile weather station – known as the Automated Mobile Meteorological Observing System (AMMOS) – will be driving through local neighbourhoods to monitor changes in weather conditions.

So will these stations improve the accuracy of our forecasts?

"Only time will tell," Scotland says. "But the Games provides the ultimate test."

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