Austin College weather station ready for action

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Physics students at Austin College installed their new weather station Tuesday afternoon, just before the rain made it’s way into town.

In 2001, students with Austin College built the first meteorological research station on donated land, now known as Sneed Environmental Research Center, near Hagerman Wildlife refuge.

20 years later, a new group of students got to work to replace the weather center with state of the art technology.

”So, the type of instrumentation that the students are installing, measure temperature, relative humidity, pressure, wind speed, wind direction- the typical things you see every day when you check the weather,” said Austin College physics professor Dr. David Baker.

Solar powered, an upgraded rain gauge and a broader range of telecommunications; the new weather station is ready for action.

Austin College physics professor Dr. David Baker says it’ll provide some of the most reliable weather data for the region.

“The Austin College weather station was first installed in 2001, by a group of students!” Dr. Baker said, “Twenty years later the system had really shown it’s life time, and it was time to upgrade. So with this new technology, we’re really going to be able to make even more accurate measurements of current weather conditions and probably the most important thing for us, are the telecommunications are going to be state of the art,” Dr. Baker said.

Students had to work quickly, with a storm anticipated to pass through Sherman Tuesday night.

“The rain gauge is important, because not only does it track the daily rain, but it can track the monthly rain- and that’s important,” said Austin College junior Megan Frank.

Piece by piece, physics and engineer majors built the shiny new station, just in time.

“(It) Allows us to look further into the physics aspect of the environment, and the atmosphere. We really learn how the wind works, we’ve learned weather patterns, how storms emerge, tornadoes, things of that nature,” said physics sophomore Diego Sanchez.

“I’m actually terrified of tornados, so learning how they work, and how this is all done actually kind of helped with my fear,” Frank said.

The weather station’s equipment were donated to the college by 1967 Austin College graduates Nancy Bryant and Gerald Taylor.

Students told News 12 me they’re excited to track how much rain Sherman will get within these next few days.

To see the data collected, you can click here.

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