Meteorological service standards

The Meteorological Service of Canada is committed to service excellence

Service standards publicly state the level of performance that Canadians and their institutions can reasonably expect to encounter under normal circumstances.

The Meteorological Service of Canada is committed to developing, monitoring and reporting on service standards in areas of importance to its clients.

Taking into consideration historical performance and the expectations of service users, the Meteorological Service of Canada sets standards that are intended to be challenging, attainable with effort, affordable and meaningful to service users.

These external service standards are published to highlight the Meteorological Service of Canada’s commitment to transparent management, accountability for results and citizen-focused service delivery.

The following service standards list covers only a few services and will evolve with time to cover all of them.

The Meteorological Service of Canada also invites feedback from Canadians and their institutions for the continual improvement of our service delivery.

Service standards

Marine program weather services

Marine weather forecasts describe the anticipated weather conditions in Canadian marine environments for the next five-day period. To supplement the marine forecasts, two additional products are also provided: Technical synopses, which give an overview of major weather systems affecting the area, and Marine Weather Statements, which are used to provide additional information regarding non-routine marine weather events. Finally, the Marine Warning Program is intended to provide an effective warning service to alert mariners to particularly hazardous marine meteorological conditions that may pose a hazard to marine operations.

Additional details

Marine program weather services: performance results
Standard Target 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Accessibility: Marine forecast and warning information will be accessible to its clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 95% 97% 97% 97% 96% 96% 97%1 96%2 95%
Timeliness: Marine weather forecasts are issued according to the established schedule. 95% 96% 96% 97% 97% 97% 98% 98% 98%
Accuracy: Gale warnings will be issued at least 18 hours in advance of the event. 68% 67% 69% 69% 64% 66% 75% 75% 75%

1 The calculation for 2018-2019 accessibility does not include the METAREA component.
2 The calculation for 2019-2020 accessibility does not include the Weatheradio or Automated Telephone Answering Device components.

Health and air quality forecast services

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a multi-pollutant index that lists, on a scale from 1 to 10, the short-term health risks associated with the mixture of air pollutants known to be harmful to human health (ozone, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter). The index was developed and is delivered in partnership with Health Canada, the provinces and territories, municipalities and various non-governmental organizations. It is a public information tool that tells Canadians what is currently happening (current value of the AQHI), how that will change (forecast value of the AQHI), how Canadians are affected (who is at risk) and what they can do to reduce their health risk from those air pollutants. The primary role of the Meteorological Service of Canada in the partnership is the provision of forecasts. The AQHI is forecasted twice daily for many locations across Canada and predicts maximum AQHI values over the next two days, with related health messages.

Health and air quality forecast services: performance results
Standard Target 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Accessibility: AQHI forecasts will be accessible to Canadians. 80% 65% 69% 79% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80%
Timeliness: AQHI forecasts are issued according to the established schedule, in locations where the AQHI is available. 95% 98%3 98%4 99% 98% 99% 98%5 NA 98%
Accuracy: The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) forecast will be within plus or minus one of the AQHI observation at least 75% of the time for observed values of four or higher on the AQHI scale.
75% 75%1 77%1 80%2 85% 80% 75%6 74% 75%

1 Accuracy values are calculated by calendar year for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.
2 Beginning with 2015-2016 the accuracy values are calculated by fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
3 The calculation for the 2013-2014 timeliness is based on the period between January and April 2013.
4 The calculation for the 2014-2015 timeliness is based on the period between September 2014 and March 2015.
5 The calculation for 2018-2019 timeliness is based on the period between April 1 and December 31, 2018.
6 The calculation for 2018-2019 accuracy does not consider smoke exceptions in the air quality forecast.

Hydrometric data and information service

The National Hydrological Service (NHS) provides Canadian hydrometric data and information services to Canadians and their institutions on behalf of the National Hydrometric Program (NHP). These include near real-time Canadian hydrometric data 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and value-added historical Canadian hydrometric data and statistical information. NHP hydrometric data and information are used in flood risk management, emergency response management, water resources planning, water allocation, infrastructure planning and design, environmental monitoring and management, analysis of climate change and long-term weather effects, power generation, and recreational uses of waterways.

Additional details

  • The NHS strives to make all of its hydrometric data and information available to its clients and to its National Hydrometric Program partners. In normal operations, data and information should be available on WaterOffice at wateroffice.ec.gc.ca 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Real-time hydrometric data is posted online at wateroffice.ec.gc.ca within 6 hours of occurrence.
  • The NHS delivers consistent quality by generating 100% of its hydrometric data and information products according to Standard Operating Procedures.
Hydrometric data and information service: performance results
Standard Target 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Accessibility: Data and information will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 95% NA NA 99% 98% 97% 98% 100% 100%
Timeliness: Real-time hydrometric data is posted online within 6 hours of occurrence. 90% NA NA 86% 89% 99% 97% 100% 100%
Accuracy: Average score of the regular Quality Assurance Program (QAP) audits, which evaluate the accuracy of historical archived data based on both office and field activities. 80% NA NA 73% 80% 86% 83% 86% 82%

Ice Warnings, Forecasts and Information service

The Canadian Ice Service provides timely and accurate information about ice in Canada's navigable waters to the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and mariners in support of safe and efficient navigation: information about icebergs for east coast Canadian waters south of 60N, ice climatology and tools, and an annual Atlas of winter Arctic Ice conditions. Daily ice forecasts and charts are provided where there is ice and known marine activity and contain information about ice concentration, ice edge, stage of development, floe size, drift velocity and with appropriate level of resolution. The ice information is accessible online or via the CCG marine radio, or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) service for low bandwidth users.

Ice warnings, forecast and information service: performance results
Standard Target 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Accessibility: Data Ice forecasts and daily ice charts will be produced seven days a week with no interruptions longer than 24 hours 95% NA NA NA
NA NA NA 99% 100%
Timeliness:  Ice forecasts and charts are issued according to the established schedule 95% NA NA NA NA NA NA 98% 100%

Public Weather service

This service provides weather warnings, forecasts and information 24 hours a day, everyday of the year with lead times of minutes to weeks to Canadians and their institutions, as a public good service, so that Canadians can anticipate, manage and adapt to the risks and opportunities of changing weather conditions and make judicious decisions with respect to their safety, security, livelihood and property. The information is available online (Website and WeatherCAN application) or via Weather Radio, Automated Telephone Services (recorded information line) as well as public and commercial media broadcasters.

Public weather service: performance results
Standard Target 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Timeliness:  Media calling ECCC to request a consultation on weather warning or forecast information will be provided with a live consultation by phone from a meteorologist within 60 minutes 95% NA NA NA NA NA NA 95% 94%

Atmospheric Data and Information service

This service provides web access to atmospheric data and information to a broad range of clients, including World Meteorological Organization, academia, the engineering community and general public. Users can search and download past hourly, daily, and monthly weather data and related information for locations across Canada, including: temperature, precipitation, degree days, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, monthly summaries, averages, extremes and Climate Normals. The data is accessible online via various database portals.

Atmospheric data and information service: performance results
Standard Target 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Accessibility: Data and information will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 95% NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
99%
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