Posted on 09 May 2012 by Keith Lacey
The Town of Osoyoos is officially looking for a new location to install a new weather station after a specialist from Environment Canada confirmed the current weather station in Kinsmen Park is not a good location and has been giving questionable information due to a number of factors.
Bill Scott, a regional manager with Environment Canada, told members of town council Monday that the current weather station was installed in 1989 and he admitted a number of factors have combined to lead Environment Canada to recognize a new location would provide more accurate information.
“The exposure at the weather station is not ideal,” said Scott.
Issues like sprinklers going off regularly, the amount of grass in the park and other factors have affected sensors used to track temperatures and wind and have not always been accurate, he said.
“We would be very interested in relocation to a better location that would provide more accurate readings and meet national and international standards,” said Scott.
Mayor Stu Wells said accurate weather is crucial in Osoyoos as the town has promoted itself as the hottest place in Canada and uses the “Canada’s Warmest Welcome” tagline in most of its marketing and promotional campaigns.
Environment Canada would like to enter into a “co-operative agreement” to find a new and better location for the weather station and Scott said he had already taken a brief trip to the Osoyoos Airport to scope out whether that might work as a new site.
“Exposure wise, it appeared to be a good site,” said Scott. “I think the potential there is quite good.”
Scott said Environment Canada is more than willing to install and maintain the equipment needed for an upgraded weather station using the latest technology, but was not interested in spending money on things like land purchase or environmental assessment costs.
“If there is a co-operative effort, I’m sure we can work something out,” he said.
The weather station at Kinsmen Park wasn’t selected by Environment Canada staff back in 1989, but was offered by the town and that’s why it ended up there, he said.
Once a new site is selected and new equipment is installed, Environment Canada will keep all weather records from the current site, he said. Wells said because Osoyoos does have some of the nicest weather in the country, “people are checking the weather here all the time” so it’s important to provide the most accurate weather information possible and he’s strongly in favour of finding a new site as quickly as possible.
Scott agreed to meet with chief administrative officer Barry Romanko and other senior management with the town on Tuesday morning to talk about the airport site and any other site that might be considered for a new weather station.
Once the town provides a suitable location in the coming weeks, staff from Environment Canada will return to install the new weather station, said Scott.