THOMASVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — The city of Thomasville is using a state-of-the-art weather sensor system that sends alerts when severe weather is approaching.

The system is housed in the highest point in Thomasville, the Winding Creek Golf Course, and that’s extra helpful for golfers who might be caught off guard during their games.  

The WeatherSTEM installed there details what the weather is like at any exact moment by measuring the threat in real-time. 

Severe weather can strike suddenly, rolling in without much warning.  

“It seems like whenever the weather does come through, it affects us here,” said Jeff Peers, a ranger at Winding Creek. 

The Winding Creek Golf Course has experienced several lightning strikes. 

“It actually blew up our irrigation pipe, and there’s a piece on our driving range where the mats are where lightning hit it on the back and took out a piece of concrete. You really don’t know the force of lighting until you see it and witness it,” Winding Creek Superintendent Allen Crockett said.

No one was around, and that was by design. Winding Creek has WeatherSTEM. It’s a complex unit with the City of Thomasville logo on it.   

“We have parameters that if it detects lighting within a certain distance of the golf course, sirens go off at the top of the hill to let golfers know the storm is coming,” Crockett said.

Golfers are grateful for that siren and the alerts.  

“We’re not pros out here. We are just here to have fun, and we don’t want anybody to get hurt,” Peers said.

Emergency management officials use the alerts for the whole city.  

“It also allows us to push notifications to the public through our NIXLE program,” said Samuel Olshinski, the division chief of emergency management for the City of Thomasville. 

It’s simple to sign up. Text the zip code 27360 for Thomasville to 888777.  

That will allow you to get important Thomasville information such as road closures and local weather alerts from the WeatherSTEM system. 

The unit cost between $10,000 and $12,000 and was paid for by federal funds.