Using Technology for Weather Monitoring

Weather stations can monitor local conditions to quickly notify campus officials when there is the potential for a weather emergency to develop.

Many institutions are utilizing technology, including weather stations, to monitor hyper-local conditions and record data on their campus. Stations like the one at Horseheads High School in Horseheads, New York, stream readings such as temperature, wind speed, wind chill, rainfall, and rain rate to a public-facing website every eight-tenths of a second.

The platform then stores the historical conditions in one-minute intervals for students and researchers to utilize both in the classroom and in studies. The historical records are easily queried to introduce students to large data sets and conduct research projects from local conditions.

As readings flow into the platform, institutions can set up alerts for pre-defined parameters to inform campus staff of dangerous conditions. Alerts for station readings, NWS alerts, and lightning are dispatched to staff groups via email, text, voice, and push notification. This allows teams to take immediate action to ensure the safety of their students and staff during all weather-related events.

Weather is a very visual science. By utilizing the imagery from the station’s camera viewers can determine precipitation type, accumulation, and ice accretion. Time-lapse videos are available to show accumulation over time. Users can also watch the camera live to monitor changes in precipitation type as they occur. These images are also stored for access later.

Additional sensors can also be added to enhance the readings monitored. One of these sensors is a mini-doppler that determines and displays the precipitation type for winter weather monitoring. This sensor measures all forms of condensed water including rain, freezing rain, hail, snow, and sleet from the first drop.  It can detect precipitation rates as slight as one ten-thousandth of a millimeter per hour and differentiate between all forms of frozen and liquid precipitation.

Check out some photos of this technology.

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