Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS)
Remote Automated Weather Stations are a collection of sensors, computer, transmitter, and power supply on a tower. The sensors collect data such as; wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, fuel temperature, fuel moisture, and rain amount. The computer records the data from the sensors and configures it so we can read it. Then the transmitter sends the data to a collection point. A solar panel and battery keeps everything working.
The automated weather stations are located in remote areas and the data can be used for many things including your local weather. We use them to aid in calculating fire danger.
There are seven RAWS sites in Santa Barbara County that that are presently collecting data. These include:
Latitude 34.7340°N Longitude 120.0070°W
Latitude 34.4600°N Longitude 119.6430°W
Latitude 33.9670°N Longitude 120.0670°W
Latitude 34.0170°N Longitude 119.7830°W
Latitude 34.5170°N Longitude 119.8170°W
Latitude 34.7590°N Longitude 120.4860°
What kind of weather information can a RAWS site provide?
Wind Speed – Current wind speed is measured. Ten-minute average and maximum wind speed are also recorded.
Precipitation – Duration and amount are measured in increments of .01 for each hour.
Solar Panel – Most stations operate on a battery which is inside the data collection platform (DCP) or datalogger case. This battery is charged by a solar panel. Other stations operate on AC power.
Barometric Pressure – The station may also be measuring barometric pressure every hour. If the sensor is present, it is not visible, but contained inside the DCP/datalogger case.
Fuel Moisture and Temperature – Fuel moisture and temperature are measured on some stations.
Soil Moisture – Soil moisture is measured on some stations.
Wind Direction – Current wind direction is measured. The direction of the maximum wind speed is also recorded.
Air Temperature/Relative Humidity – Current air temperature and humidity are measured.
GOES Satellite Antenna – Data is transmitted to the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite during a specific “window” of time – either every hour or every three hours.
Data Collection Platform (DCP) or Data Logger – Data from all of the sensors are stored here. The system also holds the program that determines how often and when data are measured.
Mike's Unofficial Santa Barbara County Fire Department Webpages
Updated December 23, 2003
Questions or comments? Email Mike Schlags at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Many thanks to the National Interagency Remote Automated Weather Stations Network Be sure to visit their website for more detailed information on this valuable resource.