National Grid to install new weather stations in RI

National Grid says the weather stations collect data which can help it plan a storm response.

National Grid is teaming up with several towns in Southern New England to install new weather stations.

The first in Rhode Island was installed at Coventry's Emergency Operations Center.

The station records data on temperature, wind speed, pressure, and precipitation. The real-time information from the equipment on the center's roof is fed into a computer system, which emergency operations staff can monitor.

The information is also fed into National Grid's system, which uses the weather data to help them plan a storm response.

"It's a great tool for planning. We can pre-position resources and personnel before storms even hit so that we know based on the data that's assembled within the program what the likelihood of the storm is going to be," said National Grid spokesman David Graves.

"We can look in and pinpoint what we need to know for our pre-planning prior to a storm, and once it hits we can see whatever anomalies occur and shift our response, scale it up and scale it back. It allows us to save resources and move our resources around to better serve the community," said Chief Bryan Volpe of the Coventry Police Department.

National Grid plans to have seven of the stations in southern Rhode Island plus more than 40 others in Massachusetts and New York.

The utility company is paying for the equipment.

Graves said he doesn't know how much the weather stations cost, but said there will not be a rate hike for customers to pay for it.