Weather station opens by eco-depot

An official weather station is a great advantage to the community because it means more accurate readings and better forecasts

Two technicians working for Environment Canada install a weather station near the eco-depot in Clearwater.

Two technicians working for Environment Canada install a weather station near the eco-depot in Clearwater.

Clearwater now has its own Environment Canada weather station.

Technicians finished installing it last week, according to District of Clearwater chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx.

The station, which is located next to the eco-depot on Camp Two Road, went online about noon on Thursday, July 17.

The District was first approached about getting a weather station by longtime local pastor Lloyd Strickland in 2008, Groulx said.

Interestingly, Strickland was then apparently the first to realize last Thursday that the Environment Canada online weather report for Clearwater included actual data from a weather station, and not extrapolated temperatures and so on from other sites.

Strickland then posted the news to Facebook.

Although it might seem like a small thing, having an official weather station is a great advantage to the community because it means more accurate readings and better forecasts in the future.

Cw weather stationHaving a station should benefit the tourism, forestry, agriculture and other industries, Groulx felt.

After several years of trying, the municipality came up with a cost-sharing agreement with Environment Canada for the station.

The federal agency is providing about $25,000 worth of equipment plus will maintain the equipment.

Clearwater is covering the balance of the cost with help from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Well Gray Community Forest, and the North Thompson economic development fund (money set aside after the wildfires of 2003).

The District also will maintain the site.

Equipment at the site includes a 10 m wind tower plus a two meter wind tower, thermometer, gauges to measure rain, snow, hail, snow depth, and rate of rainfall, plus sensors to measure pressure and humidity.

A local contractor was to install fencing by early this week.

The site will be grass-seeded in the fall, once the weather has moderated.

In the meantime there is a mechanism to adjust the readings to account for the fact that the site is located on bare ground.

Building permits go up

Economic development initiatives such as the weather station by District of Clearwater appear to be paying off, Groulx said.

One example is building permits. As of the end of June, the municipality had $4.8 million worth of building permits outstanding, the most in all the regional district, including Sun Peaks.

 

Groulx noted that the total did not include the permit for the second building for the shopping center that Buy-Low is building next to Highway 5. That permit is expected to be applied for at the end of August.