About MeteoCentre.com


Who we are

MeteoCentre (also named UQAM Weather Centre) is a website managed by its founder Christian Pagé, actually a research engineer at CERFACS, in collaboration since 2009 with Jean-François Caron, a research scientist at Envrionment Canada, and hosted by the Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

History

1993-94

Before 1993, the web as we know it today was not existing and only a few ftp, telnet and gopher sites were offering meteorological data. At the beginning of the World Wide Web, in 1993-94, some weather websites were already existing, but only very little were devoted to Canada and none for Quebec and Montreal. While a student in the atmospheric sciences program in the Physic department at UQAM, Christian Pagé created in 1994 a html page gathering links to online weather info for Montreal. At the time, this page was only locally available on a university server.

1995-1999

In July 1995, the site named 'Atmospheric Sciences' was placed online at the address http://www.phy.uqam.ca:2000/. Until 1999, the site will be mainly a collection of external links with the exception of some images from McGill University's radar and vertical profiler that Christian Pagé creates in the course of its work in this university. In 1997, the site adopts the name 'Montreal Weather Centre' and change its URL to http://www.sca.uqam.ca following the move of UQAM's atmospheric sciences program to the Earth Sciences department.

2000-2004

Thanks to Christian Pagé initiative, UQAM subscribed in 1999 to the Unidata program (http://www.unidata.ucar.edu), a US program broadcasting real-time weather data to the academic community (US only initially). Many weather products specific to Meteocentre will then be developed in the coming years: hourly surface observations and analyses, numerical weather prediction model charts, satellite images, lightning maps, etc. In October 2000, the site adopted its actual web address: http://meteocentre.com/.

Following Christian Pagé stay at Meteo-France in 2001, a new portal devoted to France weather was created and weather products were extended to Europe. News maps from the Canadian numerical weather prediction model were also made available thanks to a privilege access of UQAM to Environment Canada's weather data. Also in 2001, discussion forums for Quebec and France were opened and MeteoAlerte Quebec, a collaborative website inspired by the former French Oragenet project, was launched. In July 2002, MeteoAlerte was extended to France and grown rapidly thanks to a fruitful partnership with Infoclimat (http://www.infoclimat.fr/). In the same year, meteocentre adopted its current name: 'UQAM Weather Centre'.

2005-2009

Version 2 of MeteoAlerte was launched in 2005 and allowed to cope with the large traffic and added many new features. A legal agreement between Meteo-France, MeteoAlerte and Infoclimat was signed in 2009 to share MeteoAlerte weather reports with Meteo-France.

In 2009, a United Kingdom portal was launched following the growing involvement of Jean-François Caron, a former university colleague of Christian Pagé. This new collaboration allowed to add many new products from numerical weather prediction models and to extend the reach of MeteoAlerte in Europe.

2010-current

In 2010, the web pages were updated to the latest html standards in order to improve the site visualization on mobile platforms. In the same year, MeteoCentre and MeteoAlerte made there first steps in the social media world by joining Twitter.

In autumn 2012, the migration of the site on two new servers 4x faster allows the addition of several new products and leads to a significant increase in attendance: up to 200 000 visits per month are recorded on each meteocentre.com and meteoalerte.com domains!



Last update: 25 August 2016