The Canadian weather radar network consists of 31 weather radars spanning Canada's most populated regions. Their primary purpose is the early detection of precipitation, its motion and the threat it poses to life and property. Each has a range of 256 km in radius around the site to detect reflectivity, and a range of 128 km for detecting velocity patterns (Doppler effect).
Research in weather radars in Canada began at the end of the Second World War with "Project Stormy Weather". After the war, J.S. Marshall continued at McGill University the work with the "Stormy Weather Group". The Canadian network was thus gradually formed and by 1997, there were 19 weather radars of two kinds across the country: 18 five centimeter wavelength (C-Band) radars and 1 ten centimeter wavelength (S-Band) at McGill, all of the radars detected reflectivity with 3 sites equipped with Doppler capabilities (Carvel, King City and McGill).
Environment Canada received approval in 1998 to upgrade the network to Doppler standard and to add 12 more radars with the operational characteristics coming from King City Radar (CWKR), the research radar of EC. However, McGill radar (at the J. S. Marshall Radar Observatory), while being part of the network, is owned by McGill University. It is a research as well as an operational radar and is modified independently.
Because the network is using C band radars, compromises had to be used (see Doppler dilemma) between maximum reflectivity range and maximum non ambiguous velocities. The actual scanning strategy (2006) is divided in two separate scans over 10 minutes:
Only the McGill radar (J. S. Marshall Radar Observatory) using its coherent S-band transmitter acquires reflectivities and velocities during each of its 24 elevation angles: 5 minute cycle time.
The modernization process began in the fall of 1998 with the opening of Bethune radar and ended in 2004 with the one in Timmins .
|Site||Location||Province||Coordinates||ID/call sign||Band||Type||Callsign meaning||Notes|
|Chipman||Central New Brunswick||New Brunswick||CXNC||C||98E||New Brunswick Chipman|
|Exeter||Southwestern Ontario||Ontario||CWSO||C||98A||Southern Ontario|
|Foxwarren||Eastern Saskatchewan/Western Manitoba||Manitoba||CXFW||C||98E||Foxwarren|
|Gore||Central Hants County||Nova Scotia||CXGO||C||98A||Gore|
|Holyrood||Eastern Newfoundland||Newfoundland and Labrador||CWTP||C||98R|
|Jimmy Lake||NW Saskatchewan/NE Alberta||Saskatchewan||CWHN||C||98E|
|King City||Southern Ontario||Ontario||CWKR||C||98A||King City Radar|
|Lac Castor||Saguenay River||Quebec||CWMB||C||98E|
|Lasseter Lake||Superior West||Ontario||CXNI||C||98E||Nipigon|
|Marble Mountain||Western Newfoundland||Newfoundland and Labrador||CXME||C||98A||Marble Mountain|
|Marion Bridge||Southeastern Cape Breton County||Nova Scotia||CXMB||C||98E||Marion Bridge|
|Montreal River Harbour||Sault Ste Marie||Ontario||CWGJ||C||98E|
|Mount Sicker||Victoria||British Columbia||CXSI||C||98A||Mount Sicker|
|Mount Silver Star||Vernon||British Columbia||CXSS||C||98A||Silver Star|
|Prince George||Northern B.C.||British Columbia||CXPG||C||98R||Prince George|
|Schuler||Medicine Hat||Alberta||CXBU||C||98E||Burstall||This RADAR was originally planned to be located at Burstall, Saskatchewan.|
|Spirit River||Grande Prairie||Alberta||CWWW||C||98E|
|Val d'Irène||Lower St. Lawrence||Quebec||CXAM||C||98A||Amqui|
|Villeroy||Southwest of Quebec City||Quebec||CWVY||C||98R||Villeroy|