From News Center
Automated Ball State weather station now online (10/16/2003)
Residents in East Central Indiana may find the latest weather information online as a result of a new system at Ball State University.

Ball State's weather station has been upgraded, adding an automated weather monitoring system that updates every five minutes. Observations include temperature, heat index, wind chill, humidity, wind, barometric pressure and precipitation. Daily extreme values are also recorded.

The site is www.bsu.edu/weather. The updated weather monitoring system cost about $750.

"People are interested in weather now more than ever," said David Arnold, a geography professor who coordinated the project. "We live in a society that lives on a 24-hour basis, and we all drive our cars more than ever. So, having current weather information just for East Central Indiana is a must."

The weather monitoring system is located on the roof of Cooper Science Building. Previously, students collected data manually and then uploaded the information.

"Because students were only collecting information during the day, we couldn't provide current information all the time," Arnold said.

Visitors to the online system can access real-time data, data from the past 24 hours, the latest National Weather Service (NWS) forecast and extreme weather forecasts. More products will be added in the future.

Arnold said the automated system will play a key role in educating students in meteorology and physical geography classes.

"In Indiana, you can go to bed when it's 50 degrees outside and wake up to four inches of snow," he said. "When that happens, we can then examine the data to explain what caused the changes."

(NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information, contact Arnoldat darnold@bsu.edu or (765) 285-1768.)

By Marc Ransford, Media Relations Manager