A new outdoor weather warning system is in place at six NRH Parks & Recreation facilities to signal to athletic leagues and other parkgoers when lightning is near. These systems DO NOT take the place of the City’s larger outdoor warning sirens, but enhance public weather safety notifications at specific high-use park locations.
Facilities with the new weather warning system include:
- Green Valley Park
- Northfield Park
- Cross Timbers Park
- Richfield Park
- Walker’s Creek Park
- Richland Tennis Center
Iron Horse Golf Course and NRH2O Family Water Park already have outdoor warning systems, policies and procedures in place as well.
The new system provides audible and visual alerts to park users when lightning is within close proximity (10 miles or less) to the park so they can take necessary safety precautions. The audible alert will occur once at the first close proximity strike while the strobe light will remain active until the all-clear (typically 30 minutes). Three short audible alerts indicate an all-clear.
About Perry Weather - Weather Stations and Outdoor Warning Systems
NRH Parks & Recreation recently completed installation and activation of the Perry Weather – Weather Stations and Outdoor Warning Systems. This system is utilized throughout the DFW metroplex at parks, athletic complexes, municipal outdoor facilities, school districts, universities and more. Because so many people use the city’s park facilities, North Richland Hills needed a dependable weather system to effectively monitor disruptive weather patterns and notify people of potential lightning strikes or other safety risks.
NRH identified strategic locations for three Weather Stations and six Audible Weather Alert Systems at identified parks and recreation facilities based on high-volume usage and frequency of outdoor programs and activities. The three Weather Stations (WS) provide real-time, location specific data, and proactive portable lighting detection along with other advanced weather detection and radar software, which helps support proactive personal safety decision making for park goers. The outdoor weather stations can simultaneously measure weather readings such as temperature, Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, wind chill, rainfall, wind speed and more, and will keep a historical data log.
The six Outdoor Warning Systems (OWS) are located specific to parks with high volume usage and outdoor sports and activities throughout the year. The OWS locations house audible (speakers) and visual (strobe light) weather alert systems at the identified site for onsite close-proximity lighting alert notification.
The systems at parks with OWS alerts for lightning include audio and visual cues to alert park site users with one 15-second horn blast and text to speak messaging to warn of lightning in close-proximity, 10 miles or less from that site along with an orange strobe light that continuously flashes during the alert period. The light is at the site of the installed hardware. The strobe light remains on while the alert remains active. Alert timers run for 30-minutes for each close-proximity strike. Three short horn blasts and the cessation of the strobe light provides indication to the park goers that there is an all-clear at that specific site. The current NRH Park OWS alert times are set to function and notify between 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Timing adjustments will be made seasonally as light of day changes or site-specific activities are scheduled.
The new system is also equipped with public address functionality, which allows these units to dually function as an emergency management tool, able to broadcast personalized text-to-speech messages as needed in weather events or during park events and programs for other key announcements.
Unique site specific “Weather Widgets” have been created by Park staff for each location and staff will be installing public QR code signage at each park site that houses Perry Weather hardware for the public park site goers to scan and view the “weather widget” directly when they are onsite, to see any current lighting delays, time remaining until all-clear, as well as general current weather condition information; providing the park goers information on when they should consider returning to outdoor activities at that site.
This system will be incredibly beneficial for all youth and adult sports leagues, specific park site trail users, and onsite activities and programs, as well as communication to onsite park users at the high-volume usage sites. While the Perry Weather system is not new to the industry, it is a first for NRH Parks. Questions and inquiries about the system can be directed to NRH Parks and Recreation Administration at 817-427-6620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay weather aware in all seasons!