The picture above of a thunderstorm over Upper Bidwell Park was taken by my Bidwell Ranch Weather Station Webcam at http://www.bidwellranchcam.com this summer.
Weather in the mountainous portion of upper park can sometime be pretty unpredictable, with storms forming quickly due to upslope winds which cause an Orographic Lifting effect aiding the quick formation of a storm.
You may have read in the Sunday ER about the new Outdoor Planetarium at the Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory and some of the hi-tech gadgetry there.
Today I’m pleased to announce that I completed the installation of the first ever weather station in Upper Bidwell Park at the Observatory and it is available for online access at the Observatory web page at: http://www.chicoobservatory.com/weather.htm It displays new weather data every 15 minutes plus logs the entire day’s weather for use later. I often get requests for rainfall data for Big Chico Creek watershed, and there is virtually none. This will help.
The weather station will soon have its own live webcam, the picture in the weather graphic online now is from the Bidwell Ranch Cam.
When the new webcam is installed, it will overlook the Horsehsoe Lake fishing pier. Besides the camera being a bit of deterrent for rascally behavior, the new upper park weather station will also give hikers, bikers, and golfers an ideas of what the weather is like there right now, which will aid in choosing what to wear and what gear to bring. It will help observatory staff determine if viewing is likely that night. It will also display inside the observatory, and be linked to a network of weather stations around town for an even bigger project I’m working on to create a temperature and wind model to assist in an important public health service need. More on that in the future.
This is a free community service. Enjoy it with my compliments.