New Website for Atlantic Canada Makes Extreme Precipitation Data More Accessible to Assist in Climate-related Planning

2017-02-21 12:00 AM

New Website for Atlantic Canada Makes Extreme Precipitation Data

More Accessible to Assist in Climate-related Planning

Communities in Atlantic Canada now have a valuable planning tool that offers enhanced access to specialized information from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on extreme rainfall events.

Engineers, managers and planners rely on Intensity/Duration/Frequency (IDF) statistics to design roadways, culverts, and other drainage structures that can accommodate heavy rainfall and mitigate its impact on habitats, properties and infrastructure. “Providing enhanced access to the most current IDF data through this new Extreme Precipitation website,” notes Rick Fleetwood, Manager of ECCC’s Atlantic Climate Services, “makes it easier and more efficient to use this information for engineering designs.”

The Extreme Precipitation in Atlantic Canada website, http://atlantic-canada-precip.eas.cornell.edu/, offers a variety of products, including IDF curves and data files, some of which can be downloaded directly into site user’s programs and contoured maps. A Google Map interface shows the location of stations used to calculate the IDF statistics and provides direct access to the information.

A 14-minute video on the website introduces the site’s resources, making it easy for visitors to locate the data and format they most need. The video can also be used as a training tool for agencies and businesses that want to demonstrate this new resource to staff members or colleagues.

A grant from ECCC’s Atlantic Ecosystems Initiative funded creation of the site, which was developed by the Northeast Regional Climate Center. The Climate Network of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment helped coordinate the project.

In preparing the site, collaborators sought input from more than 50 planners, engineers and scientists throughout Atlantic Canada. “This website gives us direct access to historical IDF data that can help improve our operational models for dams,” notes Renée Morais, Environmental Coordinator at J.D. Irving, Limited, “and can be valuable for land use and infrastructure planning.”  

The site will be updated with new IDF data as it is generated (every few years). Technical questions on the site or data can be directed to Rick Fleetwood at rick.fleetwood@canada.ca.

ECCC, in coordination with US partners, also issues a quarterly bulletin, the Gulf of Maine Region Climate Impacts and Outlook. The Gulf of Maine Outlook highlights the past season’s events and anomalies, along with weather impacts and seasonal forecasts for temperature and precipitation. To see the last issue or sign up to receive the Gulf of Maine Outlook, visit http://www.gulfofmaine.org/2/climate-network-climate-outlook/.