Do you feel like the weather forecast for Metro Vancouver never really seems to reflect what’s going on in the sky above you?
Well, good news – Environment Canada has done a major behind the scenes upgrade, and has broken the region into five smaller micro forecast zones.
That means more accurate, targeted, and up to date weather prediction.
“It pretty much went live yesterday, “ Environment Canada Meteorologist Matt McDonald tells Simi Sara.
“We rolled out our new software systems and I’m happy to say everything went off without a hitch. The North Coast, the Sunshine Coast, the Fraser Canyon, and the Fraser Valley all also have new forecast regions.”
LISTEN: Meteorologist Matt McDonald explains the new weather sub regions
Until Monday, all weather forecasting for the region had been done from Environment Canada’s main observation point at YVR.
Now if you go to the ‘Vancouver’ page at Environment Canada’s website you’ll be looking at a much smaller area, which includes the City of Vancouver, along with Burnaby and New Westmisnter.
“We’ve now added the North Shore, and that will include both West Vancouver and North Vancouver where conditions tend to be cloudier, and rainier, and cooler,” says McDonald.
The Fraser Valley will now also be split into three sub regions: west, including Abbotsford; Central, including Chilliwack; and East, including Hope.
“I think anyone living, not only in the Lower Mainland, but anywhere in B.C. can appreciate the variability of weather over really small distances. And as meteorologists we’ve been long-time aware of that, and we’ve tried to address it historically by putting in exceptions,” says McDonald.
He says in addition to providing more accurate day to day forecasting, the sub regions will also allow Environment Canada to issue better targeted weather alerts and storm warnings.
Believe it or not, McDonald says the agency has been toying with the idea for more than a decade.
So why did it take them so long?
“Well, we are the government,” McDonald says, “so these things tend to evolve slowly. I’ll be the first one to admit that. Believe it or not, we’ve been wanting to do this for the past 10 years, and there’s a lot of behind the scenes coding and configuration that needed to take place.”
And if you’re one of those Metro Vancouverites sick of the endless rain, MacDonald has some good news for you.
Across all of the new sub regions, we’re looking at sunny breaks all week, with clear skies and highs in the 20s this weekend.