Weatherbug station to advance science department

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Featured is the horn. The horn is perhaps the key component towards the Weatherbug that gives out a loud alarm that people within at large radius around the school can hear. (Photo by Justin Van)
Featured is the horn. The horn is perhaps the key component towards the Weatherbug that gives out a loud alarm that people within at large radius around the school can hear. (Photo by Justin Van)

St. Thomas has been known for always being ahead of the curve in regards with technology.

Four years ago we were one of the first high schools in Houston to become a tablet-based school. As of January 25, we have again beat that curve.

With the new WeatherBug Weather Station & Outdoor Alerting System, our community has exponentially increased the safety of its students and faculty. We are able to afford and use the WeatherBug system because of the generosity of the St. Thomas Committee at the 2015 Auction.

Many students who have participated in athletics outside can remember times when Doc Valdez would come onto the field to tell the coaches to bring everyone inside due to lightning in the area. The WeatherBug system will allow for that time to be cut down and will immediately alert all who are outside that it is unsafe.

The new WeatherBug system will allow for several things to happen. It has safety implications that would benefit all athletes.

In an e-mail sent to the faculty by Fr. Fulton, he stated that the WeatherBug system will, “Provides for a lightning safety program, featuring a horn that sounds when lighting is 10 miles out or nearer, app functionality and alerts.”

These features will cut out the middleman when having to detect lightning making student safety more efficient.

The different horn noises mean different things. One long 15 second horn blast means lightning was detected and everyone outside should seek shelter. The flashing strobe light means lightning is in the area and everyone should seek shelter immediately. Three 5 second horn blasts means that there is an all clear and everyone can resume their activities.

Many people see the advantages this system will provide for student safety, however, this system offers a lot more than that.

Again Fr. Fulton writes that the WeatherBug Weather Station & Outdoor Alerting System “Enriches academic content in our science department, utilizing a portal where students can analyze, review and download data, as well as content for our student broadcast program. Data from the station is featured on screens soon to be in all of our science classrooms and in a few other places around campus.”

Dr. Nordloh already has implemented this new system into his classroom, displaying the results of the WeatherBug station on a screen in his classroom. and The Eagle Broadcasting Network now uses the new system to display the weather on their morning broadcasts.

The WeatherBug station is going to be very impactful on our community life and is only in its early stages now. More implications are sure to be found in the future. The WeatherBug station & Outdoor Alerting System also has a HD camera with view of downtown, the medical center and the bayou.

Students, faculty, and even parents can access the information from the WeatherBug System by downloading the app or going to weatherbug.com.

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Sam Nordloh is a Senior at St. Thomas. Sam takes pride in his title as Student Life Editor and rap name "Young Rat." Sam can be seen flippin totinos pizza rolls in the kitchen, talking to ladies, or kickin the bass in his moms Honda Civic. Sam hopes to attend Texas State University but if he doesn't get in, Yale is his safe school.

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