Palm Beach’s new weather station makes it possible to stay informed up to the minute about local weather conditions, including the heat index, wind, rainfall and lightning hazards.
The town has installed a WeatherSTEM station atop the Central Fire Station at 355 S. County Road.
The station has its own website, which the public can access at palmbeach.weatherstem.com/fswnpalmbeach. Residents can download the WeatherSTEM app for Apple and Android devices.
Weather information is updated every nine-tenths of a second, Fire-Rescue Chief Darrel Donatto recently said.
Air masses and fronts, wind speeds, heat index, dewpoint, barometer, solar radiation sensor –are all easily found on the website.
“This weather station is your weather station and it’s the town’s weather station,” Donatto said. “We have highly accurate, real-time weather [data] that’s available to the public, as well as [to town officials], instantly.”
Visitors can subscribe to receive weather alerts by text or email. Donatto said he receives alerts about wind speeds above a certain level and rainfall exceeding a certain amount within a given period of time.
“We get immediate notice when there are potential weather problems and [the public] can gain access to that, too,” Donatto said.
Installation of the WeatherSTEM unit reportedly costs around $5,600 with two live camera feeds on it.
The town’s station was financed with a grant from the Florida Division of Emergency Management and its Florida Severe Weather Network. It is built to withstand wind gusts up to 185 mph. It is cellular and has solar power so it can remain operational if electrical power and internet connections are interrupted.
“We’re really excited about this technology and how it’s going to help us manage our weather-related events,” Donatto said.