The Environment Canada offices have been closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19, so that the weather forecasts in Quebec are produced in other provinces.
“It is a never-before-seen, close to the centre like that. This is a first since its opening in 1975, ” says Gilles Brien, who has been a meteorologist for Environment Canada for 33 years.
According to CBC, at least five meteorologists have recently been infected by the coronavirus and is suspected that there might be two other cases. Before the increase in cases, the offices of the Place Bonaventure has been closed for at least the next two weeks.
Photo courtesyGilles Brien
According to Gilles Brien, it is impossible for meteorologists to telecommute. This is why it is other centres elsewhere in Canada who have taken over.
“The volume of data is too big, it is impossible to do it from home. There’s not a system that can do it, it must be on the spot, ” says-t it.
It is hoped that the closure does not last too long, because the people of Quebec could be hurt.
“It is a huge workload that is added. We will wish that there are no alerts of severe weather in Quebec in the next few days. It is clear that it is better to the meteorologists here, they have a much better knowledge of the peculiarities of the territory, ” says Mr. Brien.
Environment Canada has not been able to answer our questions on Monday.