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Canada expands and improves warning system for coastal flooding

  • Canada expands and improves warning system for coastal flooding
  • Major expansion of Environment and Climate Change Canada's capacity to predict and alert Canadians about coastal flooding.

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Government of Canada
Canada.ca is the Government of Canada's digital presence. The goal of this site is to make it easier for Canadians to find and understand Government of Canada information and services.

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Coastal flooding is a regular occurrence along Canada's marine coasts and poses a significant risk to the safety and well-being of Canadians. Increased impacts of coastal flooding are expected in the future due to global sea-level rise in combination with the increased intensity of extreme weather associated with climate change.

In May 2024, Environment and Climate Change Canada implemented a comprehensive coastal flooding prediction and alerting program that allows Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologists to issue coastal flooding forecasts and alerts using both the probability and expected impact of an event. These forecasts provide emergency management organizations and Canadians with critical information about the risk of coastal flooding events before they occur, giving them time to prepare and act.

Previously, Environment and Climate Change Canada monitored and issued coastal flooding alerts for regions along Canada's Atlantic coast, but when fully implemented, the new project will expand its capacity to predict and alert for coastal flooding in new areas, including Canada's Pacific and Arctic coasts, the St. Lawrence, and the Great Lakes.

Increased impacts of coastal flooding are expected in the future due to global sea-level rise in combination with the increased intensity of extreme weather associated with climate change

With these expanded services, Environment and Climate Change Canada will assume responsibility for predicting and alerting for coastal flooding events across Canada, with the exception of Ontario, where provincial authorities will retain this responsibility, as well as Saskatchewan and Alberta, where there is limited risk of coastal flooding along the provinces' lake shorelines.

Environment and Climate Change Canada will use the term "coastal flooding" as its default terminology when warning about these events rather than the previous term, "storm surge." This change in terminology more accurately describes this weather event and clearly communicates its potential impact on Canadians, though Canadians in some provinces may continue to see "storm surge" used in alerts.

The safety of Canadians is our top priority. Environment and Climate Change Canada works continually to optimize its weather and climate monitoring networks to ensure Canadians are provided with accurate and timely information to enable informed decision making.

Canada's National Adaptation Strategy outlines goals, objectives, and targets to reduce the risks associated with climate-related disasters, improve health outcomes, protect nature and biodiversity, build and maintain resilient infrastructure, and support a strong economy and workers. This will protect our economy from shocks and help avoid some of the rising costs of extreme weather.

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