Customer Stories > Huntley Park District

Why Huntley Park District Switched From Thor Guard to Perry Weather

  • Scott Crowe
    Executive Director

“To see from one location what’s going on at all 20+ of our facilities across our entire city – PerryWeather helps me and my department heads identify risks and be proactive to protect our people.”
Scott Crowe
Executive Director

Scott Crowe serves as the Executive Director of Huntley Park District in Illinois, a position he has held for two and a half years with over 25 years of experience managing park districts in Illinois. Huntley Park District encompasses 42 square miles, serving a community of 48,000 people. The district manages 14 parks and 5 facilities, including a golf course, aquatic center, and sports park, providing diverse recreational opportunities for residents.

The Need for a New Weather Solution

Prior to implementing Perry Weather, Huntley Park District faced significant challenges with their existing Thor Guard lightning prediction system. While Thor Guard attempts to predict lightning, its sensor-based equipment required frequent maintenance and cleaning, and often proved unreliable. False alarms were common, and at times, the system failed to alert in the middle of thunderstorms with active lightning strikes. The unreliability of predicting rather than detecting actual lightning strikes was a primary reason for switching to Perry Weather. These issues not only compromised visitor safety but also created operational inefficiencies for the staff, leading Huntley to seek a more dependable solution.

Choosing Perry Weather

Huntley Park District selected Perry Weather for its superior accuracy and timely alerts. A key factor in their decision was Perry Weather’s utilization of the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), which detects actual lightning strikes rather than predicting them. This approach provides real-time, actionable information to park staff, enabling them to make informed decisions quickly.

Lightning detection offers precise, real-time information about actual lightning strikes. This accuracy is crucial for making timely decisions about safety measures and park operations. Unlike prediction systems, which can be unreliable, Perry Weather’s detection-based approach provides concrete data for decision-making.

Automated Sirens and Mobile Alerts Resulting in Faster Response

Perry Weather provides Huntley Park District with a multi-faceted alert system. When lightning is detected within a 10-mile radius, sirens sound an audible alarm, followed by a voice announcement stating that lightning is in the area. Additionally, a visual strobe light activates, ensuring that people entering the park after the initial alarm are aware of the danger. After 30 minutes without detected strikes, an “all clear” message is broadcast, signaling that it’s safe to resume activities.

Perry Weather’s mobile app sends push notifications to staff members, providing real-time updates on weather conditions for each park. Employees responsible for specific parks receive detailed information about lightning strikes, including distance and location. The app also includes a countdown timer that tracks the 30-minute safety period after a strike, resetting if new strikes are detected within range.

This comprehensive alert system is particularly valuable when staff members are not present, as it keeps the public informed and safe. For Scott and his team, this provides invaluable peace of mind, knowing that park visitors are protected even when staff can’t be on-site.

Public-Facing Weather Information

Huntley Park District leverages Perry Weather for public communication in several ways:

  • Sports clubs use the system to ensure consistency in weather-related decisions across all teams.
  • The district integrates Perry Weather data into their website, allowing the public to view current weather conditions and status updates for all parks in Huntley.
  • For events, the district uses Perry Weather information to post updates on social media platforms, keeping attendees and event managers informed about current weather conditions.

Customized Meteorological Support

For major events like tournaments, Huntley Park District utilizes Perry Weather’s meteorologist consultation service for detailed, location-specific forecasts. This service has proven invaluable for planning and decision-making, allowing the district to minimize disruptions to scheduled events while prioritizing safety.

Community-Wide Adoption

The success of Perry Weather at Huntley Park District has led to its adoption by other community partners. The Village of Huntley now uses Perry Weather to protect their town square, and the local school district has implemented it for their high school sports fields. This widespread adoption ensures consistent safety measures and expectations across the community.

Streamlining Management and Decision-Making

Perry Weather has greatly simplified his role by providing a comprehensive overview of weather conditions across all facilities from a single, centralized platform. “As a leader of an organization, we have a lot of facilities,” Scott explains. “To see from one location what’s going on at our aquatic center, what’s going on at our golf course, what’s going on at our soccer fields – it helps me and my department heads identify risks and be proactive to protect our people.” This bird’s-eye view enables Scott and his team to make quick, informed decisions, anticipating weather-related issues before they escalate. The reliability of Perry Weather has alleviated a significant source of worry for Scott in his executive role. He now trusts a dependable system for weather and lightning safety data, allowing him to focus on other critical aspects of park management with confidence.

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