Environment minister touts new weather app

Environment Canada is getting set to officially launch its new WeatherCAN app that delivers weather warnings and the latest forecasts to your cellphone.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who was in Victoria Monday, said the government plans to unveil the app Thursday after months of development and testing.

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Already available in the Apple App and Google Play stores, the app showed a snowfall warning and B.C. Traveller’s Alerts in a red banner at the top of its Victoria page Monday.

As well, users will have access to 24-hour and seven-day forecasts for more than 10,000 locations in Canada.

“Look, we have 40 million hits to Environment Canada’s weather service every month,” McKenna said. “This [app] is really making sure that Canadians have the best access to information.

“As we see more and more extreme weather, it gives us an opportunity to link with our emergency response.”

She said the app could also be used by people to get important information about air quality in their communities when forest fires are burning in B.C.

“It sounds like it isn’t that groundbreaking, but I think it’s just putting a tool into the hands of Canadians,” she said.

“It was definitely a priority of mine to get into the 21st century with an app.”

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