Keeping up with the weather on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus is much easier and lots more fun now that the university’s first full service weather station has been installed on the roof of Lane Stadium.
The WeatherSTEM station uses a combination of weather instruments, agricultural probes, and other sensors to take environmental measurements every minute. It also includes two sky cameras, one facing west across campus from the top of Lane Stadium and the other facing east from the top of Burruss Hall, that provide a live glimpse of campus as well as daily time-lapse videos.
Anyone with internet access can visit the Virginia Tech WeatherSTEM station page to view real-time weather conditions including humidity, temperature, and rainfall. User can also exporting data collected by the unit. The information is also available via the WeatherSTEM mobile app and social media accounts.
The weather station was donated to Virginia Tech by WeatherSTEM, a weather data and K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education program created by Florida-based software company, UCompass.
“You can at any time go online or to the WeatherSTEM mobile app and not only see what the weather conditions are, but also what the atmosphere looks like,” said WeatherSTEM creator and UCompass CEO Ed Mansouri. “That photographic data is real of a great benefit both from a practical standpoint and an emergency operations standpoint.”
Users who create a personal WeatherSTEM account are able to set-up custom weather notifications based on their interests. Alerts can be automatically pushed to cell phones, email addresses, and social media profiles, and ultimately help users become more aware of daily local conditions.
“WeatherSTEM’s custom notification feature, as well as its mobile capabilities, give every individual the ability to have quick, accurate information right at their fingertips,” said Virginia Tech's Director of Emergency Management Michael Mulhare.“That access empowers them to make informed decisions about their personal safety, especially when participating in outdoor activities or community events.”
In addition to its safety applications, WeatherSTEM also provides an online library of educational materials that use live information from the weather unit to create and deliver interactive activities and assessments geared toward K-12 students.
The university hopes to install a second unit at one of Virginia Tech’s farm facilities in the future.
To learn more:
· Visit the Virginia Tech WeatherSTEM station page online;
For additional questions about the WeatherSTEM program, or to schedule a tutorial presentation, contact the Office of Emergency Management.
Written by Victoria Hill, public relations specialist for emergency management.