OTTAWA, March 23, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment, has released the following Statement to mark World Meteorological Day, which is celebrated annually on March 23.
"World Meteorological Day commemorates the creation of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates the global exchange of information on the past, present, and future states of the Earth's weather, climate, and water resources.
"This year's theme, Powering our Future with Weather, Climate and Water, speaks to the vital contribution Environment Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) makes to Canada's economy in support of such activities as clean energy, agriculture, transportation, construction and the safety and security of Canadians
"Canadians understand the impact that weather, particularly severe weather, has on our economy and all of us. Extreme weather can strike anytime as it did last year in many places in Canada: flooding in the Prairies, an active hurricane season in Eastern Canada, and an increase in tornadoes in Central Ontario.
"That level of activity requires a strong, comprehensive, national weather, water and climate monitoring system. Our system includes a national Doppler radar network, a lightning detection network, hundreds of surface weather and climate stations and dozens of upper air observing stations.
"Recognizing the need for high-quality, reliable forecasts and information on weather, climate, and water, the Government of Canada recently invested $78.7 million over five years to upgrade critical weather infrastructure. This will help Environment Canada's weather service keep pace with the rapid evolution of new science and technologies, resulting in improved weather forecasts and warnings to better protect Canadians.
"Environment Canada is our nation's official source for weather, water and climate data and only source for severe weather warnings; providing weather forecasts and other meteorological and hydrological services to Canadians 365 days a year.
"Each year Environment Canada issues about 1.5 million public weather forecasts, 15,000 severe weather warnings, 500,000 aviation forecasts and 200,000 marine, ice and sea-state forecasts.
"Canada is a founding member of the WMO and plays a prominent role in its work. The MSC's Assistant Deputy Minister, David Grimes, was elected President of the WMO in 2011 - a proud testament to our Government's reputation as an international leader in this field."
For more information on Environment Canada's latest weather information, please visit www.weatheroffice.gc.ca.
For further information:
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca
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