The installation of two new weather stations will greatly assist the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) fire management staff to both plan for, and conduct, prescribed burns in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).
Weather 'intelligence' during a fire event will also be dramatically improved. The up-to-date data will reduce the reliance on forecast predictions based on data gathered further afield at Low Rocky Point and Scotts Peak.
The locations were chosen to fill holes in available weather data from across the TWWHA.
Selecting the appropriate site is important as the station needs to be representative of conditions in the area and not obstructed by trees, crags or peaks.
One station has been placed in the Cradle Valley area. The site of an old Rivers and Water Supply Commission weather station near the Davey River proved the perfect spot for the second station. The existing base and anchor points were used to securely attach the new equipment.
The PWS fire management section said the new stations will report weather 'intelligence' every ten minutes.
The station includes: a tipping bucket rain gauge which logs every 0.2mm of rainfall; a 10m high anemometer for measuring wind speed and direction; a louvered shelter known as a Stevenson screen containing sensors to measure temperature and humidity; a soil probe to measure soil moisture content; a barometric pressure sensor to measure atmospheric pressure and a pyranometer to measure solar radiation.
The stations are solar powered and transmit data via satellite.