Ride leaders are responsible for tracking weather conditions leading up to a ride. Ride leaders have full authority to cancel any ride, for any weather-related reason, regardless of the conditions, forecasts and alerts in place. If you are not comfortable leading a ride in the forecasted weather conditions, cancel the ride.
Environment Canada’s “Public Alerting Program” issues 4 types of severe weather alerts in increasing probability:
Special Weather Statement: the least urgent type of alert. Issued to let people know that conditions are unusual and could cause concern.
Advisory: issued for specific weather events (like blowing snow, fog, freezing drizzle and frost) that may not be severe but could still cause significant impacts.
Watch: an alert about weather conditions that are favourable for a storm or severe weather, which could cause safety concerns.
Warning: an urgent message that severe weather is either occurring or will occur.
Ride leaders should consult a recognized meteorological authority (e.g. EC/Weather Network) before each ride.
If conditions are forecast to be less than ideal, or changeable, ride leaders should watch weather patterns via radar sites such as “Intellicast Active Weather” app, the "Storm" app, Exeter radar, etc.
If a “special weather statement”, “advisory” or “watch” is issued by EC, monitor throughout the day and decide at least 60 minutes before the ride start time whether to continue with the ride or cancel.
If a severe weather "Warning" is issued by EC for the ride timeslot, all ride leaders will cancel all organized rides.
If there are no watches or warnings issued, but extreme conditions are forecast, it is up to the ride leader to decide whether to cancel or not. Extreme conditions are defined as heavy rain, strong winds, or any other weather condition that makes riding dangerous. Common sense should prevail in these situations.
If lightning is forecast for S. Ontario, monitor www.lightningmaps.org to determine where lightning is currently located, and to monitor a movement pattern (i.e. orange dots indicate older lightning strikes while yellow dots indicate recent strikes, so by connecting old to new the movement pattern can be understood). If lightning is projected to be near the ride location during the ride timeslot, or if a lightning warning is issued by EC for the ride location, cancel the ride. If lightning is sighted during a ride, cancel the ride and seek temporary shelter if available (e.g. a grounded building), or return to the ride start point as directly as possible.