Want real-time weather? It’s just a click away, thanks to the Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Station at the BKW secondary school.
The automated process broadcasts data to the BKW website every five seconds around the clock.
Some of the real-time data the station collects includes:
- Wind speed
- Barometric pressure
- Dew point
- Wind direction
It is also equipped to signal an alarm in the event of high winds and heavy rain.
“The data is collected and stored in a computer and archived online at Weather Underground,” Earth Science teacher Mathew Decker said.
Decker, along with Earth Science teacher, Sean O’Brien oversee the station.
“This is the third year of near-continuous data we’ve collected, which can be accessed for classroom activities,” O’Brien added.
Students use the information in lab activities such as predicting rain according to the pressure, studying conditions during an ice storm and graphing data. It is also used as part of a Regents meteorology unit.
“It can be used for interpreting data, what do trends mean, looking at slopes and changes,” Decker said. “We can get into climatology, and not just what is happening, but what has happened. We can work toward understanding trends.”
“It has many cross-curriculum applications in math and science,” O’Brien added. “It also gives students a real-life connection versus using hypothetical data.”
The information has use outside the classroom as well. The Weather Services taps into the data collected at BKW and compares it to Albany Airport to get a broader picture of the region, and the district (and residents) can use it to compare oil and fuel costs with temperatures at any given time.
For Decker and O’Brien, who both have backgrounds in meteorology, one of the major benefits of the continuous collecting of data from an on-site weather station is having a wealth of information for interpretation.
“Who knows what trends and changes we’ll see over the long term or may be able to predict for the future,” Decker said.