Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS)

There are nearly 2,200 interagency Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS) strategically located throughout the United States. These stations monitor the weather and provide weather data that assists land management agencies with a variety of projects such as monitoring air quality, rating fire danger, and providing information for research applications.


Most of the stations owned by the wildland fire agencies are placed in locations where they can monitor fire danger. RAWS units collect, store, and forward data to a computer system at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, via the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). The GOES is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The data is automatically forwarded to several other computer systems including the Weather Information Management System (WIMS) and the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) in Reno, Nevada.

Fire managers use this data to predict fire behavior and monitor fuels; resource managers use the data to monitor environmental conditions. Locations of RAWS stations can be searched online courtesy of the Western Regional Climate Center.


Jan 18, 2018 

CS2 Standard G5 or G6 GOES Transmitter Mandatory Firmware Update

In Nov 2017, FTS posted a customer service bulletin notifying customers that purchased a CS2 Standard G5 or G6 GOES Transmitter of a mandatory firmware update. This update addresses issues that could potentially cause Dataloggers to log data using erroneous dates and the transmitter GPS not updating to the correct UTC offset time affecting the transmission times. This service update must be completed as soon as possible and no later than midnight UTC, April 6, 2019.

To expedite this firmware update within the RAWS interagency community a USB thumb drive, with the required firmware and instructions to install and properly document the update, will be sent to every agency or district office that places a parts order through the RSFWSU depot. RAWS Help Desk personnel will also be available to answer questions and provide any assistance with the update.

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Q: What steps should I take to ensure I have the right grounding/lightning protection for my RAWS station?

A: Both direct and indirect lightning strikes generate massive electromagnetic fields inducing voltages far beyond what electronic equipment can safely handle and can damage a RAWS station that isn’t properly grounded and protected.

The RSFWSU Depot recommends contacting the equipment manufacturer of your RAWS station to determine the proper lightning protection for your system.

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