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Canada's WeatherCenter (CAWC) is a Canadian English language cable TV specialty channel that provides weather information 24 hours a day with it's headquarters, located in Toronto, Ontario. The station has a separate feed for the Greater Toronto Area. An audio-only simulcast of the channel is also broadcast on Fantasy Satellite Radio in the US & in Canada.

CAWC is owned by WMFL Corporation, in partnership with the sister American service, The WeatherCenter.

WMFL Corporation employs it's own meteorologists to make forecasts & graphical weather products. CAWC meteorologists use an in-house technology called the CAWC Forecast Engine or CAWC-FE. CAWC also uses CMX, a proprietary system that can localize weather forecasts for up to 1,200 centres across Canada

HistoryEdit

It's early years in Montreal, QuebecEdit

Canada's WeatherCenter began on August 20th, 1986 as Canada Weather NOW. In the early years, the station had been noted for the number of technical difficulties since CAWC was using a single TV signal—CAWC originally shared an analogue transponder on 1 of the Anik satellites, with computer-generated local forecasts airing on 1 while the video feed of a LIVE forecaster or TV commercials aired on the other. The channel gained it's present name on March 1st, 1988.

Local forecasts were generated using the same systems owned by The WeatherCenter in the U.S. called the WC-Star. CAWC began using it's own system called CMX in 1994, which is still in use today

May 1998 - December 2004 (Ottawa, Ontario)Edit

On Saturday, May 2nd 1998, Canada's WeatherCenter started broadcasting nationally from it's Ottawa studio after relocating from Montreal. New presenters had arrived @ this time, as the ones from Montreal had the option of losing their jobs & staying there or relocating.

Canada's WeatherCenter launched it's redesigned web site in June of 1999, promising users a more dynamic & an integrated web experience. New content such as regularly updated severe weather warnings, a national weather map illustrating current conditions, course-specific golf forecasts & ski resort conditions, as well as UV, air quality & pollen forecasts were incorporated in the new web site.

In late 2001, the network made a number of changes. The 7-Day outlook debuted on the local forecast @ the start of the winter season programming.

On February 24th 2002, Canada's WeatherCenter debuted "Metacast Ultra", a weather presentation system that consisted of weather maps featuring more than 1200 local communities, commuter routes & regional highways, animated weather icons & higher resolution weather graphics.

Canada's WeatehrCenter unveiled a redesigned website in 2002 that was faster, more localized & easier to use. The re-designed site offered clients the opportunity to produce 'weather-triggered ads'. In addition, clients were able to localize their ads by tagging location-specific information onto a particular city or area.

On March 29th 2004, Canada's WeatherCenter debuted a new 14-day trend outlook as part of the local cable weather package that was seen every 10 minutes on the 8’s (e.g., "8:08", "8:18", "8:28", etc.; this is similar to The WeatherCenter's "Local on the 7's" in the USA). It provided a 2-week look @ how the weather would trend compared to normal temperature values & weather conditions for that time of year.

In June of 2004, Canada's WeatherCenter took legal action against Star Choice (Now Shaw Direct) after moving Canada's WeatherCenter on a new bundle without giving any notice to it's subscribers. Canada's WeatherCenter tried to prevent Star Choice from moving the channel as subscribers would have to pay an additional $7 to watch the channel. In late of 2004, CAWC improved it's local forecast coverage, providing more localized forecasts in up to 1,200 communities across Canada

December 2004 - present (Toronto, Ontario)Edit

Canada's WeatherCenter relocated it's headquarters to Toronto, Ontario in December of 2004. The local (Toronto) morning show made it's debut @ the brand new broadcast facility on December 23rd 2004, while the network's national programming started broadcasting from the new facility on January 1st, 2005.

On March 27th 2006, Canada's WeatherCenter launched an hourly forecast, available during the local forecast every 10 minutes on the 8's. The report gave Canadians the expected temperature & sky conditions for the upcoming 12 hours on-air & an extended 24 hours online.

On February 28th 2007, Video On Demand was launched on cable providers in Canada that carry CAWC, providing weather news, long range forecasts & regional forecasts on demand.

On December 1st 2008 @ the start of the winter schedule, a new 4-day precipitation forecast was added to the local forecast segment. This frame replaced the "coming up" screen @ the end of the segment.

In late October of 2009, the Satellite & precipitation maps were combined. A 6-hour animated "time frame" was added to show cloud cover & precipitation in the viewers local area over a select period

Hourly & seasonal programming scheduleEdit

Canada's WeatherCenter follows a schedule that repeats each hour, based on the current season. The spring/summer programming schedule often starts on the last Monday of March. It switches to the fall schedule the day after Thanksgiving, with the winter schedule going into effect on the 1st Monday of December. As of Monday, December 7th 2009, Canada's WeatherCenter will operate on the winter schedule season.

In the Greater Toronto Area, the top & bottom of every hour which airs the National Forecast will be replaced instead with another following similar broadcast of a separate feed with the 'Regional Forecast' & 'Your Long Range Forecast'

Mornings (5:00-11:30 AM ET) Afternoons (11:30 AM-6:00 PM ET) Evenings (6:00 PM-5:00 AM ET) Weekends (5:00 AM-5:00 AM ET)
:02 National Forecast :02 National Forecast :02 National Forecast :02 National Forecast
:06 Long Range Forecast :06 Long Range Forecast :06 Long Range Forecast :06 Long Range Forecast
:08 Local Forecast :08 Local Forecast :08 Local Forecast :08 Local Forecast
:10 Weather News :10 Weather News :10 Weather News :10 Weather News
:18 Local Forecast :18 Local Forecast :18 Local Forecast :18 Local Forecast
:20 National Forecast :20 National Forecast :20 National Forecast :20 National Forecast
:22 Traveller's Forecast :22 Active Weather :22 Lawn & Garden Forecast :22 Traveller's Forecast/Active Weather
:25 Your Weather :25 Your Weather :25 Your Weather :25 Your Weather
:27 School Day Forecast :27 Lifestyle Forecast :27 TV Feature Segment :27 TV Feature Segment
:28 Local Forecast :28 Local Forecast :28 Local Forecast :28 Local Forecast
:30 Pollen Report :30 Pollen Report :30 Pollen Report :30 Pollen Report
:32 National Forecast :32 National Forecast :32 National Forecast :32 National Forecast
:36 Long Range Forecast :36 Long Range Forecast :36 Long Range Forecast :36 Long Range Forecast
:38 Local Forecast :38 Local Forecast :38 Local Forecast :38 Local Forecast
:40 Weather News :40 Weather News :40 Weather News :40 Weather News
:48 Local Forecast :48 Local Forecast :48 Local Forecast :48 Local Forecast
:50 Active Weather/Traveller's Forecast :50 Lawn & Garden Forecast :50 Active Weather/Traveller's Forecast :50 Lawn & Garden Forecast
:54 International Forecast :52 International Forecast :54 International Forecast :52 International Forecast
:56 School Day Forecast :54 Lifestyle Forecast :54 TV Feature Segment
:56 UV Report :56 UV Report :56 UV Report
:58 Local Forecast :58 Local Forecast :58 Local Forecast :58 Local Forecast

Weather segmentsEdit

Local forecastEdit

A notable feature of Canada's WeatherCenter is it's local forecast. On cable providers, a report for the nearest weather station to the cable head-end is given, from current conditions all the way to 2-week forecasts. The local forecast occurs "every 10 minutes on the 8's" (analogous to The WeatherCenter's "Local on the 7's"). Unlike it's U.S. counterpart however in recent years, Canada's WeatherCenter has generally used the same music for each local forecast (with the same piece sometimes used consistently for a year or more), as opposed to a rotation of different jazz music. In January 2010, an online poll was held that allowed viewers to vote for their favorite local forecast music. The winner Local Song #3 was then slated to play in the mornings starting on February 1st, 2010 with the other 4 candidate songs being played in a rotation for the rest of the day.

Those subscribed to the Bell TV satellite service have the option of viewing a similar local forecast to that of cable providers, using ExpressVu's iTV service. Subscribers are able to select from a list of 200 cities from across Canada to view their local forecast in. The receiver then overlays this local version over the default version for satellite subscribers (see below). The receiver also does the same for other weather segments, such as the pollen forecast during the summer & ski conditions during the winter months.

On other satellite providers, it's a 2-minute runthrough of local weather conditions in major centres across Canada. It gives viewers the current temperature, wind speed & weather conditions, as well as that same information for the rest of the day & the 2 days subsequent to that

National & long range forecastsEdit

A detailed analysis of the current weather across Canada including the weather expected nationwide over the next 4 days across Canada is in the long range forecast. The national forecast airs following the local forecast @ :2, :20 & :32 of each & every hour.

For residents in southern Ontario, particularly the Greater Toronto Area, forecasts have been changed for the viewing area. On the 7's, 1 of the presenters gives a 'Regional Forecast' focusing on current conditions around the Toronto listening area, in the style of a local news weathercast. Immediately following is 'Your Long Range Forecast' giving conditions for the next 4 days in southern Ontario. The new programming is a continuation throughout the day of "Good Morning Toronto"

Weather newsEdit

Airs @ :10 & :40 minutes after each hour. This is a 4 to 5-minute newscast highlighting weather stories & environmental issues & includes packaged news reports. CAWC's news department won the 1st annual Adrienne Clarkson Diversity Award for network TV. This award is given by the Radio & TV News Director's Association (RTNDA) for the best news reports on a subject of cultural diversity. Canada's WeatherCenter then won for it's 2006 2-part news series on weather & black history. Canada's WeatherCenter also won a World Medal from the NY Festivals International TV Broadcasting Awards for a 2007 story on a blind woman learning to sail who uses her other senses to determine changes in wind patterns & potential storms. It won the same award again in 2008 for a story on a man & his seeing-eye dog trying to adapt to a harsh New Brunswick winter

Other segments - year-roundEdit

  • Traveller's Forecast
  • School Day Forecast (weekday mornings)
  • International Forecast (weekday afternoons & weekends)
  • Weather In-Depth (weeknights)

Weather segments - spring/summer/fallEdit

  • Lawn & Garden Forecast
  • Pollen Forecast
  • UV Report

Weather segments - winterEdit

  • Flu Report
  • Highway Conditions
  • Ski & Snowboard Conditions

Weather featuresEdit

  • Facts of Fishing (Spring/Summer)
  • Golf Tips (Spring/Summer)
  • Lawn & Garden Report (Spring/Summer)
  • Weather & Your Pets
  • Weather & Your Car (Winter)
  • Vacation Bound (Winter)
  • Weather & Your Home
  • Weather Wise
  • The Great Outdoors

Other weather services Edit

In addition to it's web site, Canada's WeatherCenter has an e-mail service called WeatherMail, that sends weather forecasts via e-mail. There is also an e-mail service for pollen conditions & road conditions. CAWC has an SMS service which sends forecasts on mobile devices.

CAWC has a small desktop application that can be downloaded free called WeatherDesk, which displays current weather conditions, short term & long term forecasts on the desktop.

In 2006, Bell TV & Canada's WeatherCenter started an iTV interactive version of Canada's WeatherCenter, enabling viewers to set their city & view specific forecasts every time.

All Channel AlertEdit

WMFL Corporation has undertaken a project that would create a national warning system called All Channel Alert, similar to the Emergency Alert System in the United States. The service will provide alerts to participating media outlets, who will then relay the information to their viewers & listeners.

This system was partially approved by the Canadian Radio-TV & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on January 12th 2006, with conditions; in addition, Bell ExpressVu also applied to the CRTC for their own emergency services. On February 16th 2008, the CRTC gave WMFL Corporation full approval of the service, which will serve to complement efforts set forth by the federal government, as well as provincial & local governments. In correlation to this, the CRTC also ordered all cable & satellite companies to carry Canada's WeatherCenter on the digital basic tiers: Bell TV & Shaw Direct already do so; most cable systems already carry 1 or the other on analog, depending on the location.

WMFL Corporation first issued a proposal for the All Channel Alert system in 2000, but was denied, due to efforts @ the time by local stations, as well as developments by Environment Canada to establish a similar system of it's own

Criticism Edit

The network has always been criticized for it's excessive use of advertising through commercials & forecasts & some weather segments (e.g., hot spots, picnic/barbecue report, etc.) - which has led to less time for detailed forecasts & more time spent on advertising. The same problem also occurs with the U.S. based WeatherCenter. In the past, there was little to no advertising. Currently, local forecasts are sponsored using static logos during & after forecasts.

The station has also been criticized for putting more focus over the weather in Southern Ontario than the rest of Canada during it's national segments. The network had also been noted for the number of technical difficulties in the early years when the network & sister station CANN was using the same satellite transponder & facilities (not mentioned above). During a technical difficulty, it often shows a repeated version of a local forecast

  • NOTE: Every 3 months or so, 2 time slots (5:00-10:00 AM & 10:00 AM-3:00 PM) switch presenters

CMOS membersEdit

6 CAWC presenters are members of the Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society (CMOS). Canada's WeatherCenter have more CMOS based presenters than any other Canadian weather media sources

Former programs (before 2002)Edit

  • Across Canada
  • EarthWatch (East)
  • EarthWatch (West)
  • Good Morning Toronto
    • May 26th, 2000: Show expanded it's coverage area to include Georgetown, Acton, Ancaster, Dundas, Milton & Erin
    • January 2, 2001: Debuted with a new look that included a cyberset
  • The Morning Report
  • This Weekend's Weather
    • First show debuted on Saturday March 17th, 2001
  • The Weekend Report
  • WeatherWatch: the program aired Monday-Friday @ :28 & :58 past the hour during The Morning Report. The segment details active weather through the country
    • September 5th, 1995-March 25th, 1996

Former programs (before 1992)Edit

  • Across Canada
  • Good Morning Weather

Additional details regarding the May 1998 launchEdit

On Saturday May 2nd 1998, Canada's WeatherCenter started broadcasting nationally from it's Ottawa studio after relocating from Montreal. Many new presenters had arrived @ this time

Weekday programming:

Timeslot
(All Times Eastern)
Show
5:00-10:00 AM The Morning Report
5:00-10:00 AM (Greater Toronto Area a.k.a "GTA") Good Morning Toronto
10:00 AM–3:00 PM Canada's WeatherCenter
3:00-7:00 PM Across Canada
7:00 PM-12:00 AM EarthWatch (East)
12:00–5:00 AM EarthWatch (West)

Weekend programming:

Timeslot
(All Times Eastern)
Show
5:00 AM-7:00 PM The Weekend Report
7:00 PM-12:00 AM EarthWatch Weekend (East)
12:00–5:00 AM EarthWatch Weekend (West)

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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