11/20/2011 12:23 EST | Updated 01/20/2012 05:12 EST

Not All Canadians Obsessed With The Weather According To Poll


OTTAWA - Another Canadian cliche put to rest.

A survey conducted for Environment Canada suggests not all Canadians are actually obsessed with the weather.

Only 70 per cent said they're very likely to check the forecast on a typical day and only 63 per cent said the forecast is important to them.

And while 79 per cent of Canadians thought it's important that meteorologists be right about how much it's going to snow, that was down five percentage points from 2002.

The telephone survey of 2,333 Canadians was carried out earlier this year by Ekos Research to determine how Canadians use weather warnings and forecasts.

Only a summary of results was posted online and it did not include the margin of error for the $74,210 study.

"Most Canadians ... feel that the weather information they receive provides enough information to make decisions or plans, and Canadians offer highly favourable views of Canada’s weather information outlets, with nearly nine in ten stating they are satisfied with their main source of weather information," the study says.

The study suggests a growing number of Canadians are getting weather information off the Internet, but TV and radio remain the first and second choices for respondents, with weather-specific channels topping the list.

However, a government-run radio broadcast of weather information doesn't appear to be getting a lot of listeners. The survey found only one in four Canadians knew Weatheradio exists and only four in 10 of those had actually used it.

The clear majority of the rest weren`t interested.

When it comes to warnings, most Canadians get that information from local radio, the study says.

"Survey findings suggest that many Canadians would like to be warned about a potential winter storm well in advance of its arrival," the study says.

The proportion of respondents who said they needed at least 12 hours is up from 26 per cent in 2002 to 39 per cent this year.

On average, Canadians need 17 hours to get ready, the survey found, with rural respondents more likely to need more warning. Rural Canadians were also more likely to say weather information matters.

Provincially, Quebec residents were least likely to feel that way.

"Quebec residents are less likely than other Canadians to feel weather information is of importance to them, and are more likely to feel that they often do not receive enough weather information to make decisions or plans," the survey says.

"However, Quebecers are also somewhat more satisfied with the accuracy of winter precipitation forecasts."

Environment Canada has conducted surveys ever five years since 1997 to gauge weather-related issues among Canadians.

A broader national study is planned for 2012, according to the summary report of this poll.

A United Nations-led assessment of the environment released last week warned that extreme weather is on the rise around the world.

Canada is expected to face far drier weather in the West, but more flooding in the East, erosion on most coasts, and heat waves across the land.