In South Florida, a regional weather forecast often just doesn't cut it.
“On any particular summer afternoon, I could be caught in a thunderstorm, whereas maybe a mile away, it could be dry as a bone,” said Ed Mansouri, the founder and CEO of a new weather service.
OrangeSTEM is a platform for monitoring hyper-local weather conditions throughout Florida. Emergency managers, researchers and forecasters are using it to analyze, plan, and respond.
Every minute, each of OrangeSTEM’s 225 weather stations throughout the state measure conditions, collect data and take photos — updating the website and mobile app in real time.
“All our weather stations have their own Twitter and Facebook page,” said Mansouri. “They’re very active.”
Based on the hyperlocal conditions, each station can send alerts by text, on social media, or on the website. OrangeSTEM can also send updates on where a storm’s greatest impact may occur and when conditions become safe.
Mansouri said the goal is to make weather very individualized.
“The more data we have, the better off we are,” he said.
Mansouri hopes to install many more local weather stations throughout the state.
The data is also being used in the classroom. Understanding meteorology is especially important for kids in Florida, according to Mansouri.
“Our children should be the most weather literate in the United States,” said Mansouri. “We take all this information and make it immediately available in lessons that are aligned with the State of Florida’s educational standards.”
The educational materials are free and available on the OrangeSTEM website.
Cloud Camera time lapse from 2018-05-20 pic.twitter.com/dx34h2tac7
— BBCHS WeatherSTEM (@BBCHSWxSTEM) May 22, 2018