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Orange County Parks Install AcuRite Atlas

Orange County Parks Install AcuRite Atlas
Posted in: Who Uses AcuRite
By Bobby Scruggs - Park Ranger, OC Parks
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Orange County Parks Install AcuRite Atlas

Orange County Parks in Southern California is regionally known as OC Parks and encompasses regional, wilderness and historical facilities, as well as coastal areas. OC Parks award-winning parks and programs are enjoyed by millions of residents and visitors each year, featuring 60,000 acres of parkland, open space and shoreline.

OC Parks’ facilities offer something for just about everyone, whether for recreation, enjoying nature, or learning about the history of Orange County. OC Parks is committed to managing land and facilities in a way that maximizes their enjoyment by the public, while properly maintaining and overseeing them, so they are available for generations to come.

When you think about the weather in Southern California, most would say it’s nothing above 72 degrees and gets maybe a slight breeze in the winter. Consistently sunny and in a climate that is tolerable for all activities with no extremes whatsoever. I am here to tell you that those “California days” are few and far between, and boy would you be surprised how much the weather plays a factor in our day to day operations! I can tell you that we get not only fires, but I have seen frost, floods, extreme temperature fluctuations, and high winds that threaten our delicate parks and ecosystems on an almost weekly basis. Southern California may not have the severe weather you frequently see on “The Weather Channel”; however, it’s enough to make even a short hike through a wilderness park potentially a life or death situation when not prepared.


Orange County Parks use AcuRite Atlas


Below are some ways our new AcuRite Atlas™ wireless weather station with lightning detection is helping us with our daily park operations:

  • The most useful feature during our winters is using our Acurite Atlas rain gauge. By tracking rainfall data, we log and store daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal rainfall data to help us with trail maintenance as well as replanting projects for habitat restoration.
  • With California being forged by fires, the Atlas comes in handy by helping us track and monitor our local fire weather conditions. Watching the wind, humidity, UV index, and temperature all it gives us a rough estimate of current wildfire conditions that could create potential hazards for us. With our fire season quickly approaching, I am excited to see our park weather station is already reporting useful weather data. We work hand-in-hand with our local Fire Departments and communicate daily on our park conditions and our real-time weather environment.
  • Near the coast, the constant sea breeze can cool us down, but also acts as a double-edged sword. Our beautiful locations can quickly rise in temperature, making your outdoor recreations quite dangerous. With the Atlas, it has been very helpful in informing the public of the heat indexes and warnings, preventing possible heat illnesses that frequently happen on the trail. I can share the data, explain to visitors how quickly things can start to heat up, and why it is essential to bring more water on dangerous weather days such as weather conditions high in temperature and low in humidity.
  • The Acurite Atlas has made sharing and experiencing the weather not only affordable, but a must for first responders, outdoor enthusiasts, and park rangers.

I think that if more facilities had access to these AcuRite weather stations, we all would be able to react and respond more quickly to potential danger

Bobby Scruggs
Park Ranger

Orange County Parks use AcuRite Atlas


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June 4, 2020
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