Western Kentucky University has many traditions. One of them is that of the many white squirrels that can be found on WKU’s main campus. One of those white squirrels has made its way to the Hardin County Schools Early College & Career Center in the form of the White Squirrel Weather station.
White Squirrel Weather is a weather monitoring and prediction service overseen by the Meteorology program at WKU. Stations are installed at primary WKU locations around the state.EC3 is one of those locations as it houses WKU personnel, office space and classrooms in the building.
“This presents an opportunity to work directly with HCS staff and students to reinforce atmospheric science as a strong piece of classroom conversation,” Associate Professor of Meteorology and Director of the White Squirrel program Josh Durkee said.“Since weather is a part of each of our lives, regardless of our interests or occupation, we are very interested in sharing our infrastructure as an innovative learning opportunity. In this way, EC3 makes perfect sense for White Squirrel Weather.”
Anyone with internet access can gain access to the White Squirrel Weather station at EC3. Users can find up-to-the minute data at https://hardin.weatherstem.com/wswelizabethtown. There is also a White Squirrel Weather app that can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. After creating a login through the app, users can set up their own notifications and alerts for things like lightning and other variables like wind, rain, etc.
“We are thankful to WKU and the White Squirrel Weather program for putting the weather station here,” EC3 Principal Dan Robbins said.“We have shared the website with our principals who are passing it along to classroom teachers.Students can have 24-hour access to the same weather data that meteorologists have.This is a fantastic opportunity for us and our school district.”
The White Squirrel Weather station provides real-time data, sky video, astronomy information, forecasts, etc.
“WKU focuses on building excellent community partnerships and demonstrating professional student service-learning initiatives that lean on applied research engagements,” Dr. Durkee said.“White Squirrel Weather is founded on these very principles.This partnership is a true example of how we can deliver on our goals. We appreciate the tremendous cooperation we have received from EC3 and Hardin County Schools.”