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The BCHS Weather Center

A new resource for Bethlehem Central residents – live, local weather

May 7, 2008 

Bethlehem Central residents don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows – they can just log on to the district’s Web site.

The Earth Science Department at Bethlehem Central School District has implemented a new Weather Center as part of building improvements the school has undergone in recent years as part of the district’s ongoing capital construction project. In addition to being a valuable teaching resource, the department has launched a feature that allows residents to view current weather conditions at http://www.bethlehemschools.org and link to forecasts through the site that hosts the BCHS Weather Center.  

 

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“We have students tracking a number of weather variables and actually understanding how meteorologists are able to make forecasts,” said BC K-12 Science Supervisor Michael Klugman. “In addition, our weather station is networked through a national network of similar stations that pool their data, so our students and community will have a high degree of accuracy in both short and long-term forecasts.” 

Ms. Jamie Rowe, High School Earth Science teacher who has an advanced degree in Meteorology, led the equipment selection process, participated in its installation. She maintains the weather center monitoring device in her classroom. 

“By having the weather station available in the classroom, students can observe weather while it is happening. It’s right here and it makes the observations more relevant to their lives. If there is a weather system moving through, like a cold front, we can observe the changes that are associated with the system without having to wait.”

The station is a Davis Vantage Pro II Plus. The station measures and displays barometric pressure, indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, heat index, dew point, wind direction and speed, UV index and dose, solar radiation, evapotranspiration, wind chill, rain fall, time, date, forecasts, moon phase, sunrise, and sunset.

Mr. Klugman said the support of the high school and district administration and the expertise of the district’s operations and maintenance staff and technical staff allowed the department to get the weather station up-and-running quickly and effectively. He added that without the community’s support, the station would not have been possible.

“I really do hope the community sees this as a great resource,” Mr. Klugman said. “When they get up in the morning, they can check the Web site for the current temperature and conditions at BCHS. The best part is, those are the conditions that our students will be examining in their classes.”

Residents who want to check live, local weather via the BCHS weather center should visit the district’s home page, http://www.bethlehemschools.org. From there, they can click on the BCHS Weather Center icon on the top right part of the page, or scroll down to the bottom right where they can view a synopsis of local conditions. When they click on the current conditions, either from the link or on the bottom right part of the page, they will be taken to www.wunderground.com, which hosts the public portion of the weather center’s operations. This is where they can access the forecast, which is based on wunderground affiliates and National Weather Service data.

Bethlehem teaches Earth Science units in each grade from K-5. There is a concentrated program in grades 6 and in grade 9, when students take the New York State regents exam in Earth Science.