Rain Gauge System Overview
The District, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Weather Service (NWS), began implementing a Flood Threat Recognition System (FTRS) throughout the Clark County area in 1987. The system includes a network of strategically located field stations which automatically report data from nearly 350 meteorologic sensors in real-time to computerized base stations operated by each of the cooperating agencies. While more than 75 percent of the FTRS field stations are located in the Las Vegas Valley, other gauges installed in the Laughlin, Searchlight, Jean, Goodsprings, Mesquite, Bunkerville, Moapa Valley and Indian Springs areas allow emergency responders to monitor weather conditions in those areas as well.
The FTRS provides valuable information on water levels, rainfall, and other meteorologic parameters. Information on wind speed and direction helps the NWS track severe storms in the Clark County area and issue more timely and site-specific weather statements than were previously possible. The District’s fully automated base station notifies staff, both in and out of the District’s offices, of potentially dangerous situations. Using computer linkups to the base station, staff can assess the potential for flooding and alert public works and other emergency response personnel.
The information provided by this system helps emergency response agencies to more effectively direct their limited resources. The District maintains three modems and a FTP site to provide local governments, the news media, and staff access to the FTRS. The District also provides access to the Flood Threat Recognition System data to the world via the world wide web (www.regionalflood.org). Both historic and current rain and weather data collected from any of the District’s field stations can be accessed on the District’s website.
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