Weather forecasts being hindered

Technical difficulties are creating challenges for weather forecasts across the Southern Interior.

  • Jan. 9, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Technical difficulties are creating challenges for weather forecasts across the Southern Interior.

Environment Canada has been experiencing sporadic equipment failure at its radar station on Silver Star Mountain.

“It went down and has problems getting re-started,” said Doug Lundquist, a meteorologist, adding that the equipment has been running this week.

“It could happen again. The instrument is failing.”

The data collected by the radar station is used consistently by truckers and others navigating the Interior’s highways.

“Our clients maintaining roads use it,” said Lundquist.

The radar shows precipitation levels for a broad region, including the North Okanagan, 100 Mile House, Lillooet, Kamloops, Hope, Castlegar, Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Crews are expected to look at the radar some time in January.

“There is a plan to fix it more permanently,” said Lundquist. But a specific date for repairs or replacement will depend on the availability of funds, parts and personnel.

Lundquist insists the issue is being taken seriously, particularly because the weather data is vital for the transportation sector.

“Public safety is our number one goal so we want it (radar) to be up and running as much as possible,” he said.

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