Remote Automated 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.

Small Elk RAWSMost 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.


News and Information

February 25, 2015

G4 FTS Transmitter

Due to a leap year update to the GPS satellite, the FTS G-4 transmitter has the potential to jump time. We have a temporary GOES channel that G-4 owners can use until they replace their G-4 transmitters. The temporary channel is available until October 1, 2015. Any station that is transmitting off time needs to be moved to this channel or turned off per your user agreement with NOAA. Contact the RAWS Help Desk for a temporary assignment and the vendor of your choice for a new transmitter.

FTS Datalogger

RSFWSU (RAWS Depot) will continue to support the FTS FWS-12s, FWS-12 and FWS-11 until December 31, 2017.

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Frequently Asked Questions - From the RAWS Help Desk

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.

RSFWSU Depot recommends contacting the equipment manufacturer of your RAWS station to determine the correct grounding/lightning protection for your system.

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Vaisala 555 Data Collection Platform Maintenance Support Countdown

The clock is ticking! On December 31, 2015 the RSFWSU Depot will no longer provide maintenance support for the Vaisala 555 Data Collection Platform. If your station is currently using a Vaisala 555 DCP the time left to upgrade your station is: [add countdown timer module].

For more information please call the RAWS Help Desk at (208) 387-5475 or email:

Have A Comment Or Question?

We value your feedback about the Remote Sensing / Fire Weather Support Unit programs and our RAWS website. To help us serve you better, please select the link below and email us your comment or question. Email RSFWSU