CENTRAL PARK — A power outage in Central Park cut juice to the National Weather Service's equipment housed inside Belvedere Castle — halting the agency's able to measure temperature, wind speed, precipitation type, and visibility at the data collection site, officials said.
At 9 a.m., the automatic service operation system at Belvedere Castle shut off due to a power outage in that area of the park, according to Tim Morrin, the observation program leader at the NWS in Upton, New York. Power still hadn't been restored as of 2 p.m.
The Central Park Conservancy did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday morning.
The agency tweeted about the outage.
Weather data from Central Park unavailable due to equipment outage. Technicians are looking into the outage.— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) December 8, 2016
The NWS' equipment, which measures dew point, temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, cloud height, visibility, and type of precipitation, provides the official data to the NWS for Central Park and has for many decades, Morrin said.
Snowfall is measured manually by the Central Park Conservancy, which took over the responsibility last year from the Central Park Zoo.
The NWS relies on the weather equipment at sites all over the city to measure and forecast accurate weather patterns. The closest station to Central Park include is LaGuardia Airport.
The outage is not a major problem unless it lasts long term, Morrin said.
"It depends on its longevity," he said. "In this case, it's out of the National Weather Service's hands because it has to do with the infrastructure in the park. It's out of our jurisdiction."
It's a regular occurrence for the NWS to lose data from other stations, but this is the first time in a "couple of years" that it's happened at Central Park, according to Morrin.
"There have been different reasons for loss of data," he said. "There have been cases in the past where there was an accidental cut of a power line because of construction. There was a power problem at Central Park a couple of years ago at the Belvedere Castle and the 79th Street yard but there were generators put in place."
The generators this time were also affected by the power outage, he said.
The NWS will update the public via Twitter.