Posted on 25 July 2012 by Keith Lacey
The weather station operated by Environment Canada at Kinsmen Park in Osoyoos has been completely upgraded and should give the most accurate readings ever, says Pat Wong, manager of atmospheric monitoring for Environment Canada’s Pacific-Yukon region.
“All of the sensors have been upgraded and we should be getting exceptionally accurate readings … better than we’ve had for a long time in Osoyoos,” said Wong.
Environment Canada technicians Mark Torgerson and Yam Au were in Osoyoos replacing equipment from July 16-18 as part of a planned upgrade to the Osoyoos Community Weather Station.
They replaced sensors that measure temperature, humidity and barometric pressure as part of their annual inspection and upgrade, but also replaced sensors to measure precipitation and snow depth, said Wong.
There have been reports of inaccurate readings from the weather station in Osoyoos in large part because the sprinklers are often turned on overnight to water the grass at Kinsmen Park.
These new sensors will give accurate readings even if the sprinklers are turned on, she said.
“These new sensors won’t be affected by precipitation near the station.”
The provincial government announced a $78.7 million investment back in January to upgrade weather equipment at weather stations across British Columbia and the Yukon, said Wong.
Replacing the sensors that measure temperature, humidity and barometric pressure are part of an annual upgrade, but the new sensors to measure precipitation and snow depth were paid for out of this funding to improve the infrastructure owned and operated by Environment Canada in the province, she said.
The weather station at Kinsmen Park in Osoyoos was one of the very first fully-automated systems installed in British Columbia back in 1990s, said Wong.
“It has been going a very long time and that’s why this upgrade has been planned for some time,” she said.
There were two days in June where the weather station failed to record weather readings, but this had nothing to do with last week’s equipment upgrades, she said.
“This has been planned for several months now, but it is because outages like this happened that we wanted to replace the equipment with state-of-the-art sensors and data loggers,” she said.
While Town of Osoyoos council has discussed moving the town’s weather station to a new site and Environment Canada staff have looked at possible locations near the town airport, no further talks have taken place to the best of her knowledge, said Wong.
“I’m not aware any suitable location has been found yet and don’t believe any further discussions have taken place in regards to moving the station in Osoyoos,” she said.
This new equipment should ensure that any weather information released from Osoyoos will be accurate each and every day of the year, she said.
The new equipment was installed just in time to record the significant amounts of rain that fell during last Friday’s wild summer thunderstorm, said Wong.
“A total of 25 millilitres of rain fell in a couple of hours, which is a significant amount,” she said.