A first in Canada: City of Edmonton purchases personal weather radar station

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名出售

EDMONTON – In a move to better predict the intensity of rain storms and their impact on drainage systems, the City of Edmonton has purchased its very own weather radar system.

“This is important because we would like to understand more details about a storm so that we can use that data to predict the impact on the drainage infrastructure,” said Steven Chan, a senior hydrologic engineer with the drainage services department.

That infrastructure includes storage tanks, pumps, and other diversion facilities that can be manipulated to better handle an influx of storm water — if they have the right data.

“If we can maximize the capacity available before the storm hits the city, we could potentially reduce the risk of flooding,” Chan said.

The purpose of the investment is not to predict if it will rain, Chan explained; rather, it’s to estimate the impact of a storm on the city’s drainage system.

Steven Chan, a senior hydrologic engineer with the City of Edmonton’s drainage services department stands on the rooftop of Campbell Scientific Corp. in north west Edmonton.

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    The first step in adapting the new technology will be to calibrate it with the pre-existing city-wide network of rain gauges. This will require multiple rain events where the predicted rainfall will be compared to the actual recorded rainfall totals.

    READ MORE: Interactive map tracks rainfall in the Edmoton area in real time

    Historically, the city has used the weather radar information from Environment Canada’s Carvel weather station, located about 40 kilometres out of town.

    According to Chan, that station “reads the sky once every 10 minutes, and by the time it reaches Edmonton, the resolution is about one kilometre by one kilometre.”

    Having the radar station within city boundaries will increase data accuracy by providing radar resolution as high as 125 metres by 125 metres about twice as quickly as before.

    The new radar station sits on the rooftop of Campbell Scientific Corp. in north west Edmonton.

    Edmonton is no stranger to extreme weather events, including flash flooding, particularly in the city’s south east.

    In July 2012, main floor residents in The Hillview Estates apartment complex in Millwoods were devastated when four feet of water seeped into their units. Others saw the manhole covers on the street lift off and start spraying water about three feet in the air.

    READ MORE: Flash flooding devastates apartment complexes in Mill Woods

    “We really want to enhance our service,” Chan said, adding that rainfall intensity and patterns have changed over the years.

    “So this is in response to the recent climate change that we and many other cities have experienced,” he said.

    “We are the first ones to look at this proactively and take action.”

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