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STLCC-Wildwood Unveils New Weather Station

February 11, 2015

Wildwood weather station  
A new weather station recently was installed on the green roof at STLCC-Wildwood. Pictured are, from left, student Bryan Ebner; John Fuller, KPLR 11 chief meteorologist; Patrick Vaughn, Wildwood’s vice president for academic affairs; students Trevor Dannegger and Scott Ewers; Jen McCurdy, instructor; and student Susan Janik.

On the anniversary of the establishment of the National Weather Bureau in 1870, St. Louis Community College-Wildwood on Feb. 9 unveiled a new weather station that was installed on the green roof through a contribution by Commerce Bank.

The weather station is one of two in the Wildwood area that collects data about rain, temperature, humidity and wind speed. Data is transmitted wirelessly every 2.5 seconds and posted directly to the internet. The other weather station is located at Hidden Valley Ski Area.

“Commerce Bank is proud to sponsor the weather station and the efforts of the St. Louis Community College-Wildwood campus,” said Angela Schreck, senior vice president and group manager of the West Region. “We are committed to supporting the communities where we work and live.”

Output from the weather station will be used by students enrolled in meteorology at STLCC-Wildwood. The class is taught by John Fuller, chief meteorologist for KPLR 11. Students learn about weather, the forces that create specific weather patterns and phenomena, and global weather patterns. They also participate in weather forecasting by using daily public weather information, for which the weather station will be used. Their forecasts are recorded and broadcast on the college’s internal TV monitors.

Fuller explained that meteorologists use the weather stations to look at data for a specific area, but also look at aggregated data to get a picture of weather across the entire country and world. Visitors to the website can click on a map and then zoom in or out and see where all the weather stations are located and the data they receive.

“There are thousands of weather stations across the country. Some are at colleges. Some are at businesses and some are in backyards. When you zoom in and out on the map, you can see how many areas have temperatures within certain ranges, like 20 to 30 degrees, for example,” Fuller said.

The campus is also the location for one of the most western digital weather cameras in the St. Louis area. It serves as one of the earliest ways that westward rolling storms can be detected without radar. Viewers of Fox 2 News and KPLR 11 will recognize shots of the campus shown during the weather broadcast from this camera.

“The weather station will give us even more data about incoming storms,” said Fuller. “We can see how the barometric pressure is dropping or how the wind speed is changing just by checking the station.”

"We are grateful for our partnership with Commerce Bank to provide the weather station,” said Patrick Vaughn, Wildwood’s vice president for academic affairs. “The station not only provides our teachers with an educational tool that increases engagement with our students, but also provides valuable data that helps local forecasters like John Fuller provide up to date and local weather information for our local communities.”

The campus community, local media and the public can view current weather data at stlcc.edu/WildwoodWeather.