Saturday, January 07, 2017

RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Stations)

Here on the Shasta-trinity National Forest we have 14 permanent RAWS and 4 portable RAWS.  We have weather data dating back to the 60s from these stations.  We use data from these, fed through WIMS (Weather Information Management System) to get our staffing levels, make fire decisions, and plan for fuel reductions and so much more.

I have taken on the role of RAWS Maintenance Tech on our forest and love getting to deal with weather stuff.  The data can sometimes be overwhelming, but the fire field has a pretty decent program called FireFamilyPlus that our pocket cards (cards printed with our local information to help firefighters coming into our area know what the weather and fuels are like around here).

Sensors on these stations get replaced every year, every 2, or every 3 years, depending on the sensor.  Each station has temperature, humidity, rain, wind direction, wind speed, solar radiation, and fuel moisture.  The station has a GOES antennae that transmits data via satellite. There is a car-sized battery to supply power and a solar panel to recharge the battery.

Quite efficient stations these are.

I've included a whole bunch of pictures of our various stations in the native environment.

Big Bar RAWS after a bear got hold of the tipping bucket

 Sims RAWS

 Big Bar RAWS

 Beautiful shot of the Bolam RAWS with Mt Shasta in the background.  Great station to work on just for the views!

 Ash Creek RAWS

 Sugarloaf RAWS

 Yolla Bolla RAWS

 Maybe Backbone RAWS, not quite sure on this one

 Oak Mountain RAWS.  Another great view

Friend Mountain RAWS

 One of the portable RAWS, newly arrived and unpacked and tested

This is not one of our stations.  This is a station on the side of Mt. Shasta to record snow

And here is a pocket card that we produce, currently working on a new version

And here is a sample graph from one of our stations.  We can change the input data to show any specific piece.  We usually focus on ERC (Energy Release Component) and BI (Burning Index)


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