Weather systems implemented at fire stations across Dorchester County

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 5:50 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 7:20 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Weather tracking systems are in the process of going up at fire stations across Dorchester County after they received a $11,000 grant a few months back from the Duke Energy Foundation.

The St. George Fire Department is home to one of those systems that is now up and running, and once all are installed, there will be six total.

Temperature, humidity, precipitation and wind speed are just a few meteorological factors that will be measured throughout the county on an ongoing basis.

The goal is to provide stronger real-time weather data to keep residents protected from severe weather events.

County officials believe the program is something to be excited about.

“Not only us in emergency management to use the information for our needs, but also the National Weather Service and our local news meteorologists will be able to tap into this information, as well as the general public will be able to a trusted source,” Director of Emergency Management for Dorchester County Thomas McNeal said.

The National Weather Service can also directly pull information from these systems for their local forecasting, and they say the more data, the better.

“We can see this data in real-time when we’re sitting here with severe thunderstorms rolling through or issuing warnings or wondering what’s going on, we can see their data in Dorchester County,” Lead Forecaster at the Charleston National Weather Service Brian Adam said.

McNeal believes local meteorologists having access to this information in the event of severe weather is crucial.

“Every second counts sometimes when we have severe weather,” he said “So, the more time we can give them by giving them some ground truth, the better.”

The public will soon be able to access all of the information these systems are collecting on the county’s website.

Community members can also download an app called “Weather Link” to access the weather data in the county.

McNeal said all systems should be live within the next week.