|Owner||Environment and Climate Change Canada / Meteorological Service of Canada|
Weatheradio Canada (French: Radiométéo Canada) is a Canadian weather radio network owned and operated by Environment and Climate Change Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada division. The network transmits in both official languages (English and French) from 230 sites across Canada. Weatheradio Canada like their telephone service, uses the Starcaster Text to Speech, which has been used for many years and is owned by STR-SpeechTech Ltd.
In most locations, the service broadcasts on one of seven specially-allocated VHF radio frequencies, audible only on dedicated "weather band" receivers or any VHF radio capable of receiving 10 kHz bandwidth FM signals centered on these assigned channels, which are located within the larger "public service band". The radio frequencies used by Weatheradio Canada are the same as those used by its American counterpart, NOAA Weather Radio, and receivers designed for use in one country are compatible for use in the other. Since 2004, the service has used Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alerting technology to disseminate severe weather bulletins. Weatheradio has indicated that, in the future, it also plans to add other hazard and civil emergency information (such as natural disasters, technological accidents, AMBER alerts and terrorist attacks) to its broadcasts.
In some locations, primarily national parks, provincial parks and remote communities with little or no local media service, a transmitter operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation carries the service on a standard AM or FM broadcast frequency. As of August 2007, most of these AM and FM transmitters were unlicensed by the CRTC under a special license exemption granted to low-power non-commercial broadcasters.
In 1976, Environment Canada's Weatheradio service was launched and expanded to 30 locations in roughly 10 years. In the early-1990s, increased government investment permitted major expansion of the network to the present size of 179 sites.
In September 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada began soliciting feedback on possible decommissioning of 48 of its 230 transmitters. ECCC stated that the transmitters were predominantly located in areas of overlapping coverage and where alternate methods of access (such as cell phones and the Internet) were available.
On May 26th, 2021, ECCC announced on a Required Weekly Test of the Weatheradio service that they would be finalizing replacements to their Weatheradio systems, the older of which had been in use for over 27 years. These finalizations were to begin June 1st and end on New Years Eve of 2021.
Weather information is broadcast in both official languages which is English first then French, except in Quebec where it is the opposite order. Weather alert broadcasts are inserted within the normal playlist, and are available in both official languages. Wind and wave marine forecasts are broadcast on a regular basis on transmitters located near marine zones. However, these and other forms of marine forecasts are more conveniently broadcast on the marine frequency, which is not available on most weather radios. One requires a special receiver capable of receiving the marine frequency, which varies by province. Weather broadcasts also include the UV index for the forecasted day, and for the following day during the UV index season. The index runs from 1 (low) to 11+ (extreme).