Why We Care About Weather
Weather is important to all of us. Knowing the weather can answer a lot of questions. What should I wear? Is it a good day for golf, for gardening, for going to the lake, for watering the yard? And sometimes the questions to be asked are is it safe to go out, to drive through that floodwater across the roadway, even to run through the thunderstorm to a neighbors.
Because it is so important, the Oak Hill Fire Department has assembled some assets to help people in the community better understand what is happening with local weather right now. Much of the information is made available on the Internet, so no special equipment is needed to get the latest information. All that is required is a computer or smartphone connected to the Internet.
The Oak Hill Fire Department has a state of the art Davis 6163 weather station located at Station 301 on Circle Drive with a UBNT AIRCAM weather camera. Together, they provide an up to the minute picture of local weather and are uploaded on the Internet.
Davis 6163 Weather Station
UBNT AIRCAM Weather Camera
The weather station’s detailed data including: Temperature, Barometric Pressure, Wind Speed & Gusts, Wind Direction, and Rainfall Rate is available on the Weather Underground network of weather stations here. Another graphical display can also be found on the FindU website here. History is also maintained and most data can be charted for any period of interest to see trends.
Realtime data transmitted from the Oak Hill Fire Department weather station
Current Weather Cam picture of the Training Tower at Mackey Field on Circle Drive
The Weather Underground website also makes available a history of Weather Cam pictures. In addition, on that same page, there are movies from the pictures captured over a day which show the weather and the training tower activities in fast-action sequence.
Weather Radio is a 24×7 service available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Federal Agency as a service to the public. In addition to weather conditions and forecasts, it also broadcasts emergency notifications of all types. To listen to the weather radio, you can either purchase a special weather-band radio, available from most electronics stores, or you can hear it broadcast over the Internet. The Austin local weather radio call-sign is WXK27.
Extreme Weather History
Austin is a city of weather extremes. Examples range from the record 9.7 inches of snow that fell on November 11, 1937 to the record high temperatures of 112F that occurred on September 5, 2000, the record low of -2F on January 31, 1949 and the 19 inches of rain that fell September 9-10, 1921.
Floods drowned 13 people in 1981 when 10 inches of rain fell in 4 hours, placed 200 homes under water in 1991, and in 1998 damaged 454 homes. Floods swept away the Great Granite Dam constructed in 1893 and lost in 1901 – this was the pride of Austin and was located close to today’s Tom Miller dam.
Of all the States, Texas holds the record for the greatest average number of tornados, clocking 139 per year of which 29 are strong to violent (F2-F5). In 1922, one was photgraphed over the Capitol building. And in 1997, the nearby Williamson County township of Jarrell was devastated by an F5 twister that took 27 lives.