City buys real-time weather watchers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vicksburg will be equipped with six wireless weather stations to provide residents with information on the Internet following approval by the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday.

Bill Ford, information systems specialist for the city, said the only real-time data available in Vicksburg now comes from a monitor at the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport in Mound. The board approved $4,182.28 for the solar-powered weather stations, which measure temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction and calculate the dew point and heat index.

The stations are Internet-ready, and Ford said the popular weather Web site Weather Underground ( likely will host the information, but added it will probably not be hosted on the city’s Web site. 

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The stations, 6-by-6 inches in size, will be placed at the Vicksburg Municipal Airport on U.S. 61 South, the wastewater treatment plant on Rifle Range Road, the water treatment plant on Haining Road, the fire station on Indiana Avenue and two other locations to be determined, including a downtown location, said Ford.

Along with providing residents with weather data, the stations will be able to aid in mitigating potential hazardous materials emergencies, said Ford. He provided an example of a truck carrying hazardous materials overturning on Interstate 20 and releasing harmful airborne materials.

“We have a program now that can take the weather information and develop a predicted plume area to effectively warn or evacuate people in that instance,” he said.

The weather stations and equipment should arrive in Vicksburg within six weeks, Ford said.


Contact Steve Sanoski at