Thursday, May 26, 2016

TBT: Recording breaking winds + one giant tornado

It’s another throwback Thursday, this time to the Governor’s Office of Information Technology’s essential emergency communication towers across the state of Colorado.

One of the critical tools they use for coordination and communications is a monumentally important two-way radio system maintained by the OIT’s Public Safety Communications Network (PSCN), called the Colorado Statewide Digital Trunked Radio System (DTRS).

This year, there were two impressive weather events at the tower sites, one with a pretty incredible photo: 

May 7, 2016 
An open field tornado ripped through eastern Colorado right past our Wray tower site (see above weather chaser photo). The tower was providing essential emergency communications and stood strong -- with no damage incurred -- during the tornado. 
February 18, 2016  
At the Monarch Pass location site (11,312 feet above sea level), the high mountain Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) weather station recorded wind gusts of 98 mph at 7:16 p.m. and again at 7:53 p.m.  

In between those times, at 7:36 p.m., the weather station recorded winds out of the west at 62 mph, with a gust 148 mph -- a new state record!

The previous record was in Boulder, Colo., on January 25, 1971, with a wind gust of 147 mph.

DTRS provides a near seamless statewide wireless system for direct communications between the people who need to work together during daily and emergency incidents. We are so grateful to this integral State of Colorado team.