A new high-tech weather station is being installed in Payson as a result of a partnership with Arizona Public Service and ABC-15 Television in Phoenix which will soon provide people around the world with a current view of the Mogollon Rim and up-to-the-minute Payson weather conditions on the Internet.
"We're partnering with APS in what is known as the Arizona Weather Network," said ABC-15's News Operations Manager Donald Rump. The network is starting with 11 units throughout the state including Yuma, Casa Grande, Coffee Pot Rock in Sedona, Snowflake, Prescott, Flagstaff, Tucson and Lake Havasu City.
Previously, the only weather sources in the Rim country were Payson Channel 7, which provides minimal information three or four times an hour; National Weather Service observer Anna Mae Deming, who provides statistical data upon request; and KMOG radio, which gets its updates from the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.
ABC-15 will feature three different weather station locations each night in their newscasts along with a picture from the camera that's updated every 10 minutes providing a current look at each of the areas.
"It's also going to be available on our Web site which is www.phoenix360.com and that will have all the cities so you can go to that site and see what the actual conditions are at any of the cities at any hour of the day," Rump said.
The site will also have links to several other sites, including the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and APS.
Web surfers will soon be able to visit the chamber's site at www.rimcountrychamber.com to check complete current local weather conditions.
"We are hoping to actually start using these in our newscasts by mid-January and we're hoping the Web site will be operational sometime in January or February, Rump said.
APS Manager Jim Spencer said he thinks this will be good for the community.
"The chamber of commerce is excited about this camera because they think it will help tourism," Spencer said. "How many times has (the Department of Public Safety) said the roads are closed because of a snow storm, when actually the roads are almost never closed to the south? It will give people a chance to see how the weather really is and decide if they want to come up or not."