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Grady County has installed a new weather system at the Cairo Fire Department that will provide the community with real time data and livestream video of local weather conditions.
The public can access the data and camera view and see how close lightning is to the system, how much rainfall it’s measured, how fast the wind is blowing, what moon phase we are in, and, of course, the current temperature, and more.
The $4,000 WeatherSTEM system was purchased by Grady Emergency Management Agency, and, according to assistant EMA director Bill Schafer, is a needed asset for the community.
“When Hurricane Michael hit, we had to really guess the wind speeds or go off the Weather Channel. We need to know wind speed to know if it’s safe to perform emergency operations or not. With WeatherSTEM, it monitors the weather 24/7. It also records its data on a hard drive so we can go back and retrieve it. I know following Hurricane Michael there were many conflicting thoughts on wind speeds of the storm. Now, with WeatherSTEM we will know 100 percent accurate information,” says Schafer, who is also chief of the Cairo Fire Department.
The public can access the WeatherSTEM information on social media or the internet. The information is available at the website https://grady.weatherstem.com/cairofd or on Twitter at @cairowxstem, and on Facebook at Cairo Fire Department WeatherSTEM.
Chief Schafer says Grady County EMA Director Richard Phillips, himself and Lt. Stephen McKinnon of CFD will operate the system, which is solar powered so should be operational even if power is out. He says the system will also enhance the current weather siren system that operates in the city.
“It will allow us pinpoint accuracy on incoming weather to better notify us when to activate our siren,” Chief Schafer says.
WeatherSTEM is headquartered in Tallahassee and has systems at professional football fields, colleges and communities across the country.