Environment Canada not planning to amend Ashcroft listing

The community is listed as Cache Creek on the EC website, and Village council would like it changed.

Environment Canada has no immediate plans to change the listing of its Ashcroft weather observing site, currently registered on the EC website as “Cache Creek”, according to Meteorological Inquiry Specialist Bernard Duguay.

He was responding to a comment by Ashcroft resident Tammy Harrison, who had contacted Environment Canada to suggest that the name be changed to better reflect the weather station’s location.

“I just wanted Ashcroft’s name mentioned [on the website],” Harrison said. “They sometimes show it on Global [TV] during their weather.”

“We were very pleased when a weather observing site was added at Ashcroft [in 2010],” Duguay wrote, “as this helps forecasters to better understand differences between weather at Kamloops and Ashcroft.

“Given the variability of weather in the South Thompson forecast region [which stretches from Kamloops to Spences Bridge], a decision was made to have an additional city page in  the western portion of the forecast region at the junction of Highways 1 and 97.

“Although the city page name remains as Cache Creek, as you note, the observation is listed as coming from Ashcroft. In addition, in the BC Provincial Summary (http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/forecast/canada/summary_e.html?BC), Ashcroft is listed explicitly.”

The response satisfied Harrison, but the Village of Ashcroft would still like to see the listing changed. Village of Ashcroft Chief Administrative Officer Michelle Allen noted, at the Council meeting on July 23, that Cache Creek was chosen, years ago, by EC as the hub for this region, and that the weather listing was registered under that Village’s name. “It is interesting to note that during that time period the weather that was reported as Cache Creek was actually Kamloops data, and then later on Lillooet information.

“EC policy is that they will not have two locations within a short distance (10 kms or so) of each other,” said Allen, “so they will not register Ashcroft as a station. The Vancouver office [of Environment Canada] has been lobbying Ottawa to have the location registration changed from Cache Creek to Ashcroft, but have not been successful.”

Allen pointed out that the Ashcroft weather station feeds information directly to various media outlets. The Ashcroft temperature is now regularly featured on Global TV, with the Village often being noted as the hottest provincial, and even national, spot on a given day in summer.

The Vancouver office of EC suggested that Ashcroft Council send a letter requesting the change, a motion which was carried at the last Council meeting. Members of the public can make their feelings known by visiting the “Contact Us” page of Environment Canada at www.weatheroffice.gc.ca .

Barbara Roden