Skip to comments.Warning Signs - Live Weather data from Schools in Texas to be tapped into by Homeland Defense
Posted on 08/07/2002 10:48:24 AM PDT by chance33_98
A major homeland security initiative was unveiled that will help the government respond with real-time weather information in the event of a biological or chemical attack. And the Hillcrest Schoolwatch weather network will play a pivotal role.
Hillcrest schoolwatch weather stations are in 54 schools across the News Ten viewing area. But they are just a few of the thousands of weather networks nationwide who are part of what is called the AWS Weathernet Network.
Now through a new partnership between AWS and the National Weather Service, schools that have these weather stations are helping support homeland security.
The partnership allows critical weather data to be available to government agencies in real time. Bob Marshall is the AWS Convergence Technologies CEO and says "in the event of a homeland security incident or disaster, we can now for the first time provide real-time, up-to-the-second local weather observations that are critical for our government, military and emergency planners to make decisions."
This new partnership will directly aid response in major metropolitan areas -- or right here at home.
For example in the event of a bio-terrorist or chemical attack, the service allows weather conditions to be more accurately assessed -- such as wind speeds and temperatures -- which could spread airborne hazardous materials.
General Jack Kelly heads the National Weather Service: "Right after 9/11, one of the first things we did was move mobile observing systems around New York City to better collect information. had we had this partnership, we would have immediately gotten observations from 40 school systems, one of which was very close to the world trade center building."
The National Weather Service has weather monitoring stations across the nation -- the AWS weathernet will add data from an additional six thousand locations.
For this new public-private partnership it's about saving lives and property. For kids in the classroom it's a chance to feel patriotic about supporting homeland security too.
If you'd like your school to be part of the Hillcrest School-Watch Weather Network, click on the Schoolwatch weather icon.
Some of the Texas schools also have a live camera pointed to the north or northwest and you can watch that day's time lapse of the sky.