PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — More locations collecting weather data means a safer Bay County and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office is now home to the ninth installment of a WeatherSTEM solar-powered weather monitoring system in Bay County. 

This will aid emergency management officials in preparing, planning for, and responding to, weather events.

“WeatherSTEM allows us to monitor the weather throughout Bay County live,” Bay County Chief of Emergency Management Frankie Lumm said. “These resources will assist us significantly in assessing the real-time status of assets throughout the county, even in the worst conditions.”

The units are rated for 185 mph winds, solar-powered, and provide such data points as past, current and forecasted conditions, temperature, lightning strikes, barometric readings, rainfall rates, and wind speed.

“We are glad to be a part of the WeatherSTEM system,” Sheriff Tommy Ford said. “I believe it will serve to increase weather awareness and help us in making public safety decisions.”

The Florida Legislature funded the installment of 50 WeatherSTEM systems across the state at no cost to local governments for the first three years and a later annual fee of $1,800 per unit. Lumm said Bay County will seek grants to fund the system when the free period closes.

Anyone can access the data, including the weather webcams, collected by the WeatherStems when visiting the link here. There are also WeatherStem mobile apps available to access the information available.