TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, recently unveiled eight remote weather stations that feed real-time meteorological data to the Lake County Web site at www.lakecountyfl.gov, keyword: weather.
The stations are positioned at six County fire stations, the Sheriff’s Office facility in downtown Tavares and the Mount Dora Police Department. The stations’ weather-measuring equipment transmits data to personal computers at each location using frequency-hopping spread spectrum radio.
From each computer, the weather data is stored in an online database via a high-speed Internet connection. The data is then downloaded to the Lake County Web site and available for any Web user to view. The Web site downloads new weather data from each station about every 10 minutes.
On the County Web site, each station offers quick-view graphics that show wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and recent rain totals. In other tables and graphs, the stations provide historical weather data for the past day, month and year.
According to Public Safety officials, each weather station provides reliable metrological data for a 10-mile radius. Current weather conditions, such as wind speed and direction, can be important factors to consider for firefighters responding to a hazardous-materials’ spill or brush fire. In the future, the Department would like to increase its pool of weather stations to cover a larger area of the County.
“From hurricanes to wildfires to hazardous-materials incidents, having current weather conditions available to emergency officials is a valuable and, quite possibly, a life-saving tool,” said Jerry Smith, Director of the Lake County Emergency Management Division.
To complete the project, the Emergency Management Division worked cooperatively with Public Safety’s Radio Systems Coordinator and the offices of Information Technology and Information Outreach.