Canadian Live Weather Radar
Map



Access to the Canadian live weather radar network is only one click away!

Environment Canada operates a network of 31 weather radars, strategically located to cover nearly all of Canada's most populated areas.

These radars were installed to provide Canadians with an early warning system to prevent loss of life, and help reduce property damage.

  1. First, click on the map below to open a live radar map of Canada.

  2. Then, click on the city name that is nearest you for an enlarged view of the radar picture that includes your area.

Map of live weather radar coverage over Canada.

Link to live weather radar data over Canada
(NOTE: clicking on the link will pop open a new window.
Make sure your browser accepts pop ups from this Web site).

How RADAR Works

The RADAR parabolic antenna emits high energy pulses, in the microwave part of the radio spectrum, as it rotates to cover all points of the horizon. Some of this outbound energy will bounce back toward the radar antenna, from clouds containing

  • water droplets,
  • ice crystals,
  • snowflakes,
  • ice pellets,
  • or even hailstones,
  • in suspension in clouds or precipitating.

The received energy - called the “echo” - is displayed live on weather radar screens that work just like a TV picture tube.

The bigger the droplets, or particles, in the clouds, the stronger the “echo”, and the denser the image painted on the screen. RADAR screens are calibrated to display “potential” precipitation in a range of colors, each representing a specific range of intensity.

How To Use The Weather Radar Map

The radar map user interface is fairly intuitive, and easy to use. It mimics a video player's controls. When you first see the radar map, it is still, and displays the latest data from weather radars across Canada.

You can trigger the animation feature by clicking on the “play” button. The map will then display the last seven or ten “radar snapshots”, hence giving you an indication of

  • trajectory,
  • intensity variation,
  • echo area movement and changes.

Interpreting

The radars capture the significant weather, as it forms and subsides. The lower atmosphere is a dynamic environment, in which weather phenomena are born, grow, and die relatively quickly. The precipitation patterns, during the summer months, are especially short lived, compared to the winter months.

In the summer, convective type clouds such as thunderstorms, can mushroom in a few tens of minutes, whereas in the winter, precipitation patterns can take hours to form.

All told, the Canadian composite live weather radar map is an indispensable, and highly useful, observing tool for the serious Canadian weather watcher!

Stay tuned, and keep a sharp weather watch!

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