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
Accessibility: Marine forecast and warning information will be accessible to its clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TBD 97% 97% 97% 96% 96% 97%1
Timeliness: Marine weather forecasts are issued according to the established schedule. TBD 96% 96% 97% 97% 97% 98%
Accuracy: Gale warnings will be issued at least 18 hours in advance of the event. TBD 67% 69% 69% 64% 66% 75%
  • 1 The calculation for 2018-2019 accessibility does not include the METAREA component.

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
Accessibility: AQHI forecasts will be accessible to Canadians. 80% 65% 69% 79% 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
Accuracy: The maximum interval between the AQHI forecast and the observation will be one for values of four or higher on the AQHI scale, in locations where the observation is available. 75% 75%1 77%1 80%2 85% 80% 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

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
Accessibility: Data and information will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 95% NA NA 99% 98% 97% 98%
Timeliness: Real-time hydrometric data is posted online within 6 hours of occurrence. 90% NA NA 86% 89% 99% 97%
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. 90% NA NA 73% 80% 86% 83%
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