TriMet, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, has six Capricorn weather stations along their light rail line. Terry Dolan, assistant manager of light rail operations explains, "We have a powerful interest [in weather], especially with ice storms." The eastern light rail lines are subject to low temperatures and sweeping winds from the Columbia River Gorge.
The weather stations are polled by a local meteorologist. His network of Capricorn weather stations across the Pacific Northwest, in conjunction with National Weather Service data, helps provide an extremely specific forecast for light rail operations. Dolan notes, "We have to act on the forecast 10 hours ahead of the falling rain. We have to outfit the cars, and prepare to do battle with the storm." That's what it takes to keep mass transit operating.
In addition to providing data for the forecast, weather monitoring information from the stations along the lines helps managers monitor severe weather events as they happen.
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