MSC GeoMet 2.0: public access to Canadian meteorological and oceanographic data

Contributed by: 
Tom Kralidis & Alexandre Leroux

As a national meteorological service, the Meteorological Service of Canada’s (MSC) mandate is to ensure Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water, and climate conditions. In addition, and as a member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a key driver of MSC is data exchange with other National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (NMHS) organizations. Key functions include, but are not limited to, monitoring weather conditions, forecasting weather conditions, and issuing warnings.

 

In addition to these traditional functions, weather services are now turning to providing detailed meteorological and environmental information and data to clients and stakeholders, who integrate this information in their own workflows. Applications include public safety, resource management, transportation, agriculture and many more.

 

An important factor of success in these functions is the use of international standards, which ensure the interoperability of information and data across a wide range of networked data processing systems. As a result of collaboration between OGC and WMO, MSC implements OGC and ISO standards to benefit key initiatives such as the WMO Information System (WIS) and the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS).

 

 

MSC GeoMet provides public access to Canadian meteorological and oceanographic data via OGC standards-based interfaces, primarily OGC WMS for visualization. Serving over 2500 time-enabled datasets, key datasets include a real-time North American weather radar mosaic (1km and 4km resolution), numerous numerical weather prediction models (deterministic and probabilistic NWP models and products, including Atmosphere-Ocean coupled models), as well as current conditions and alerts (beta). MSC GeoMet has been 24/7 operational since 2009 with growing popularity, having served over half a billion requests in 2017.

 

Following a public beta and user feedback period, MSC GeoMet 2.0 was released in April 2018, providing numerous enhancements:

  • Support for the OGC WMS Best Practice for Time and Elevation
  • Support of OGC WCS and OGC WFS
  • Support of additional export formats (CSV, GeoJSON, etc.)
  • Significant increase of available data layers (1 km weather radar mosaic, GIOPS 3D, HRDPA, current conditions, and lots more)
  • Support of OGC SLD custom user styling of meteorological data and models

 

 

Future enhancements include:

  • GRIB2 WCS extraction (clip/zip/ship)
  • Hydrometric data archive access via the emerging OGC WFS 3 standard
  • New weather, hydrographic, and oceanographic datasets

 

More information on MSC GeoMet can be found at MSC’s Geospatial web services page, and users can subscribe to announcements for updates regarding the service.

 

Tom Kralidis is Senior Systems Scientist and Alexandre Leroux is Senior Geospatial Specialist at Meteorological Service of Canada