Environment Canada’s Montreal Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre

The World Meteorological Organization has designated Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMC) throughout the world to provide real-time support in response to environmental emergencies specifically related to airborne substances that are released into the atmosphere. To accomplish this goal, complex computer programs known as models are run to simulate the motion of these substances in the atmosphere. One of these centres is situated in Montreal and is run by the Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC) of Environment Canada.

An example of this support is the guidance that the Montreal RSMC provides to The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Under this organization, a global network exists that monitors the release of radioactive substances during and after a nuclear detonation. If a substance is detected by the CTBTO monitoring system, RSMC Montreal attempts to find its origin by tracing how the winds changed during the period in question. 

In addition to this, it is possible to trace a substance from its source over a period of hours, days, or even weeks. Simulations of the atmosphere exist that allow the substance to be traced back to its source. This can be done over distances of thousands of kilometres, and is just one of the many ways the RSMC contributes to the greater meteorological community on an ongoing basis.