NEWS

More accurate weather forecasts coming to southern Ontario

09/08/2015 05:37 EDT | Updated 09/07/2016 05:12 EDT
More accurate and detailed weather forecasts will soon be available in southern Ontario, once a new radar station is installed in Exeter, north of London.

Environment Canada is upgrading its weather station there from Doppler radar to the latest technology, called "dual polarization."

Meteorologist Geoff Coulson said the new radar will provide a more accurate estimate of rainfall, hail and snowfall by scanning from side to side and up and down.

"It's giving us a better sense of how big the various droplets are inside the cloud itself. Dual polarization also allows us to get a better sense of hail inside the storm systems and how big that hail could be, and lastly, it can be very helpful in the winter months, helping us to determine whether it's rain coming out of these storms, freezing rain, ice pellets or snow," Coulson said.

The enhanced radar image will only be available to Environment Canada officials generating special weather statements, watches and warnings.

The general public will not notice any change to the type of radar image available on the Environment Canada website once they're installed.

Coulson said the technology is relatively new in Canada and more dual polarization radar outposts will be installed in Canada over the next few years.

The Exeter station serves Lambton, Chatham-Kent, London-Middlesex and the shore of Lake Huron.

The Exeter site was taken down last month for maintenance and an upgrade.

For the time being,Environment Canada has been relying on weather data gleaned from neighbouring radar sites in Detroit and Cleveland in the U.S.

The Exeter radar station will be back online in mid-September.

The other radar stations in Ontario include:

- Britt (near Sudbury).

- Dryden

- Franktown (near Ottawa).

- King City (near Toronto).

- Montreal River (near Sault Ste. Marie).

- Northeast Ontario (near Timmins).

- Superior West (near Thunder Bay).

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