US utilities supplier Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has completed the installation of an additional 300 weather stations to improve its forecasting abilities throughout its network.
The project was completed two months ahead of schedule and marks the end of PG&E’s long-term goal to install more than 1,300 weather stations in total, with one station for every 20-line miles of electric distribution circuits in high fire-threat areas.
Data captured by the weather stations, such as temperature, wind speed and humidity levels, helps PG&E meteorologists evaluate and predict severe weather conditions, and then inform utility operational planning.
Scott Strenfel, director of meteorology and fire science, PG&E, said, “Since 2018 we have installed more than 1,300 weather stations to build one of the largest utility-owned weather stations networks in the world allowing us to track temperature, wind speed and humidity in real time to better serve our customers and communities. These weather stations help us to better monitor and forecast severe weather threats and inform our operational decisions.”
The weather stations not only send hyperlocal data to PG&E meteorologists, but also to analysts and experts in PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center (WSOC). The WSOC is the hub where PG&E detects, evaluates, monitors and responds to wildfire threats across its service area.