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Weather Stations Aid TCEQ Efforts

TCEQ mobile command post with a weather station mounted on the roof.

A TCEQ rep with a Magellan MX500 weather station mounted on a monitoring van. Photo courtesy of TCEQ.

Magellan MX500 Weather Station against a blue sky.

A Magellan MX500 mounted on a TCEQ van. Photo courtesy of Chikage Windler/CBS Austin.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) leads one of the most extensive air monitoring programs in the United States. Since 2019, the state agency has procured 12 Magellan MX500 Vehicle-Mount weather stations for their Mobile Command Posts, which are deployed during emergencies.

CBS Austin's Chief Meteorologist Chikage Windler states in a 2023 article: “In addition to analyzing air pollution on samples in the lab, the TCEQ can also monitor air quality on the go with its Mobile Monitoring Vans.

"Each is equipped with spectrometers to measure air quality plus an onboard weather station. That allows air quality and weather data to be used together to help track pollution levels and where higher concentrations may spread downwind from a natural disaster site or hazmat situation.”

Ground-level ozone is another area of concern. Low air quality and specific summer weather conditions can lead to smog, according to Ryan Vise, Director of External Relations for TCEQ. They issue Ozone Action Days when conditions are favorable for ozone to form. “Hot summer days, when there's no or little wind, when it cannot be dispersed as easily in the air,” explains Vise.

Disclaimer: The content, findings, opinions, and conclusions are the work of the author and do not necessarily represent findings, opinions, or conclusions of the TCEQ.

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