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Published on October 12th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Richland County’s Weather Data System Recognized Nationally

Mike Kalec (left), Emergency Management Division Manager, and Ken Aucoin, Chief Meteorologist-Emergency Planner, discuss how a WeatherHawk relays data to RC WINDS.

RC Winds Recipient of National Weather Service Award

(RICHLAND PIO) – Richland County is the recipient of a National Weather Service award presented to agencies that improve awareness, readiness and response when severe weather occurs.

The County’s Weather Information Network Data System – known as RC WINDS – is the first of its kind in the nation. It is a hyperlocal system of more than 40 data collection points throughout the County that provide real-time and historic weather information including temperature, wind speed, rainfall, humidity and more. RC WINDS, a product of the County’s Emergency Services Department, has gained widespread accolades since its inception in 2013 and has become a reliable source for meteorologists, emergency planners and the National Weather Service (NWS).

In an announcement naming Richland County winner of an Ambassador of Excellence Award, the NWS stated, “The information provided by RC WINDS is used routinely in NWS operations and has greatly enhanced the NWS’ ability to protect lives and property.”

Dan Miller, meteorologist with the local NWS Forecast Office in Columbia, said RC WINDS data allows the NWS to issue flash flood warnings earlier than may have otherwise been possible, helping to reduce the likelihood of motorists and pedestrians being impacted. And, wind speeds recorded by RC WINDS assist the NWS in issuing and verifying severe thunderstorm and high wind warnings.

“RCWINDS has proven to be a valuable tool for first responders, weather experts and the general public,” said Richland County ESD Director Michael Byrd. “It is an honor to be recognized by the National Weather Service.”

Previous winners of the Weather Ready Nation Ambassador of Excellence Award include the 28th Operational Weather Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments and the Palmetto Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

For more information about RC WINDS, visit rcwinds.com or download the free mobile phone app.

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