Meteorological Service of Canada

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Meteorological Service of Canada
Agency overview
Formed 1871
Preceding agencies
  • Dominion Meteorological Service (of Canada)
  • Meteorological Branch, Transport Canada
Jurisdiction Federal government of Canada
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Parent agency Environment Canada

The Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) is a division of Environment Canada, which primarily provides public meteorological information and weather forecasts and warnings of severe weather and other environmental hazards. MSC also monitors and conducts research on climate, atmospheric science, air quality, water quantities, ice and other environmental issues. MSC operates a network of radio stations throughout Canada transmitting weather and environmental information 24 hours per day called Weatheradio Canada.

There are currently five public weather forecast offices:

Pacific and Yukon Storm Prediction Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia
Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Centre, split between an office in Edmonton, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba
Ontario Storm Prediction Centre (Downsview, Ontario)
Quebec Storm Prediction Centre (Montreal, Quebec)
Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia). The Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre also houses the Canadian Hurricane Centre plus manages the Newfoundland and Labrador Weather Office Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador.

There are two centers dedicated to aviation weather forecasting: Canadian Meteorological Aviation Center-East, located in Montreal, and Canadian Meteorological Aviation Center-West, located in Edmonton.

MSC also operates the Canadian Meteorological Centre, which is tasked with providing forecast guidance, and the Canadian Ice Service,[1] which provides ice observations and forecasts for mariners. In support of Canada's military, some MSC meteorologists are seconded to the Department of National Defence (Canada).

The Meteorological Service of Canada was ISO9001:2000 Certified.[citation needed]


Private Observations

Prior to 1840, meteorological observations in Canada were made by private individuals, other entities (like HBC), and explorers, but this information was not provided to the general public.[2]

Her Majesty's Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory

In 1840, British officials (British Ordnance Department) and the Royal Society established an observatory in Toronto, Canada West, one of a few across the British Empire[2] and likely modeled after the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Meteorological Service of the Dominion

The Toronto observatory ended in 1853, but the Canadian government took over the service and continued collecting climate data. On May 1, 1871, the Government of Canada established the Meteorological Service of Canada by providing a $5000 grant to Professor G. T. Kingston of the University of Toronto to establish a network of weather observations. This information was collected and made available to the public from 1877 onwards. The MSC was then assigned under the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

Meteorological Division of the Air Services Branch

From 1936 to 1946 the services assigned under the Department of Transport as the Meteorological Division of the Air Services Branch' and as the Meteorological Branch from 1956.[3]

Atmospheric Environment Service and Meteorological Service of Canada

In 1971 the Canadian Meteorological Service was established under the Department of Environment (Environment Canada) in 1971.[4] The AES was renamed later as the Meteorological Service of Canada.

Heads of the Observatory/MSC


See also


External links