New Weather Stations Provide Critical Data During Storms

Feb 12, 2015

National Grid has completed installing the last of seven weather stations throughout Rhode Island. This program collects local weather information in real time.

The weather stations are strategically located in Coventry, Bristol, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, and Little Compton. The town of Westerly has had its weather station for only a couple of weeks, and already it’s proved to be useful, said Amy Grzybowski, the town’s emergency management director.

She said the town was able to monitor wind speeds during the most recent blizzard.  “It does help us for putting the first responders on the road. They’re able to gauge the safety if it felt that it got too windy for them to be on the road. For the blizzard, that wasn’t the case. But for a hurricane, that might be something that they can watch for,” said Grzybowski.

National Grid spokesman David Graves said the utility company wanted to bridge the radar gaps in southern Rhode Island and the west and east bays.

Graves said strategically placing these weather stations around the state is all about being better prepared for severe storms and power outages.  “Knowing what the air temperatures are going to be, wind speeds are going to be, consistency of the snow is going to be, that will allow us if we can pinpoint those locations, to treat pre-position crews at locations so that the restoration period can move forward more quickly,” said Graves.

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