CHAPEL HILL, NC, November 6, 2008 – Alexander and Yancey counties will be home to new weather stations in November, providing residents and emergency responders access to real-time weather and climate data and students scientific data for classroom curricula as a result of the Renaissance Computing Institute’s (RENCI) Weather Web competition.
A third weather station will be installed in Hyde County once a site is secured.
Weather Web, a RENCI collaboration with, the North Carolina State Climate Office (SCO) at North Carolina State University and MCNC’s North Carolina Research Education Network (NCREN), aims to enhance K-12 meteorology education and improve the quantity and quality of weather data in underserved areas of the state. Last winter, schools in counties without operational grade weather stations competed for the stations by developing lesson plans in meteorology and atmospheric sciences that would use the real-time data collected by a weather station. The winning proposals came from Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville (Alexander County) in the west central part of the state, several schools in Yancey County in the Appalachian town of Burnsville near the Tennessee border, and Ocracoke School on Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks in Hyde County.
The two western stations are scheduled for installation during the week of November 10 if the weather cooperates, said Ryan Boyles, state climatologist and director of the SCO. Boyles’ and his staff are hoping to find a location for the third station by early spring, and want to install the station on Ocracoke Island if possible.
The stations will provide new data points that will be used in severe weather management, local weather forecasts, emergency planning and natural resource management. Each station consists of a 10-meter aluminum tower equipped with a monitoring system, solar panels, an electronics enclosure with pressure sensors and a system for logging data. The data retrieved will be processed by the SCO, which will then offer it online to researchers, forecasters and educators. The public can access local weather station data at: http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/cronos.
For more information about RENCI’s Weather Web project, see Weather Web.
RENCI…Catalyst for Innovation
The Renaissance Computing Institute brings together teams of talented researchers, engineers, technologists and leaders in government, business, the arts and humanities to attack major research questions and community issues in ways that accelerate discovery and drive innovation. RENCI has nationally significant expertise and capabilities in high performance computing, visualization, collaborative tools, networking, device prototyping, and data systems as well as engagement sites across the state. Founded in 2004 as a major collaborative venture of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina, RENCI is a statewide virtual organization. For more, see www.renci.org.