Pge Weather

PG&E Adds More Weather Stations, HD Cameras to Monitor Wildfire Conditions

Dec. 18, 2019
More than 600 weather stations, 130 HD cameras have been installed across Northern and Central California.

As part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program (CWSP), Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has installed more than 600 weather stations and 130 high-definition (HD) cameras across its service area. The PG&E will continue to expand these networks in high fire-threat areas to enhance weather forecasting and modeling, and improve the company’s ability to predict and respond to extreme wildfire danger.

“The station observations allow our meteorologists to analyze critical fire weather elements like extreme wind, temperature, and low humidity,” said Ashley Helmetag, a PG&E senior meteorologist. “The stations and cameras are a part of our real-time situational awareness tools that assist us as we make decisions on Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) to protect our communities.”

This data is also critical information for the PG&E’s analysts in the Wildfire Safety Operations Center, the hub from where the company monitors threats across its service territory and coordinates with first responders and public safety officials to respond to emerging threats.

Station observations are available to state and local agencies as well as the public, through online sources such as the PG&E’s website, the National Weather Service, and MesoWest.

The HD cameras are part of the ALERTWildfire Camera Network, a situational awareness tool built by the University of California San Diego, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Oregon. The HD, pan-tilt-zoom cameras have near-infrared capabilities that allow firefighters, first responders, and companies such as the PG&E to confirm and monitor wildfires.

More Planned

By 2022, the PG&E plans to have installed 1300 weather stations and 600 HD cameras – a density of one weather station roughly every 20 circuit-miles and video coverage of roughly 90% within the highest fire-risk areas.

Meteorology Information

All of this information can be found at the PG&E’s new weather webpage here. The weather webpage also provides:

  • Seven-day forecast updated daily by a PG&E meteorologist or fire scientist
  • Detailed, localized weather conditions
  • Maps that show whether the National Weather Service has called a Red Flag Warning and where
  • Access to the thousands of weather stations and dozens of HD cameras in use by the PG&E
  • Daily sunrise and sunset timetable

For information about fire conditions in California, visit CAL FIRE’s website.

For more information about the Community Wildfire Safety Program, including links to update contact information, resources for PSPS and a schedule of upcoming regional open houses and webinars, visit the PG&E’s website.

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