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Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS)


There are nearly 2,200 interagency Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS) strategically located throughout the United States. These stations monitor the weather and provide weather data that assists land management agencies with a variety of projects such as monitoring air quality, rating fire danger, and providing information for research applications.

Image of Small Elk RAWSMost of the stations owned by the wildland fire agencies are placed in locations where they can monitor fire danger. RAWS units collect, store, and forward data to a computer system at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, via the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). The GOES is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The data is automatically forwarded to several other computer systems including the Weather Information Management System (WIMS) and the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) in Reno, Nevada.

Fire managers use this data to predict fire behavior and monitor fuels; resource managers use the data to monitor environmental conditions. Locations of RAWS stations can be searched online courtesy of the Western Regional Climate Center.


February 25, 2015

G4 FTS Transmitter

Due to a leap year update to the GPS satellite, the FTS G-4 transmitter has the potential to jump time. We have a temporary GOES channel that G-4 owners can use until they replace their G-4 transmitters. The temporary channel is available until October 1, 2015. Any station that is transmitting off time needs to be moved to this channel or turned off per your user agreement with NOAA. Contact the RAWS Help Desk for a temporary assignment and the vendor of your choice for a new transmitter.

FTS Datalogger

RSFWSU (RAWS Depot) will continue to support the FTS FWS-12s, FWS-12 and FWS-11 until December 31, 2017

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From the RAWS Help Desk:

In the fall of 2014, RAWS owners noticed after swapping out the solar radiation sensor, the range of outputs was lower than in the past. This caused the state of the weather in WIMS to produce a value that was not expected. What caused this discrepancy and how does this affect the automated state of the weather in WIMS or the historic analysis using the solar rad data collected over the years?

Click here to read the paper submitted by the Missoula Fire Lab to address this question.

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