Most people do not associate college campus safety with weather. Alcohol poisoning, fraternity hazing, and pranks gone wrong get more publicity, as far as safety hazards go. However, extreme weather can pose a serious safety threat on college campuses. University officials have a duty to keep students and employees informed about severe weather. The best way to do that is if the campus has its own school weather station. For schools and universities, though, weather stations can be prohibitively expensive. The next best thing is for the campus to receive weather data from several nearby weather stations.
Which Weather Data Is the Most Important?
Whether you are making plans for a university or a ski resort, one weather pattern is the most important to track. It is not what you think since there are more important weather patterns to follow than snow. If you are only going to look at one kind of weather data, look at real time lightning data.
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When you were a child, you probably counted seconds between a lightning flash and the soonest thunderclap. Doing this told you how far you were from the worst part of the storm. Meteorological tracking of lightning can tell you much more than that. Lightning is often where the heaviest rains are, so it can help predict flooding. Lightning also tends to be in the areas of a storm with the strongest winds. Thus, you should ask, “Where is the lightning going?” It is a more specific question than, “Where is the storm going?”
Making Safety Decisions for Universities
With weather data, you can make safety decisions for your university campus. You can decide when to cancel classes or outdoor events. You can use the university’s alert system to inform students and employees of these decisions.
Tracking lightning and other weather patterns is key to a safe college campus.