WeatherBug Launches Outdoor Lightning Alerting System

From Spring Softball to Fall Football Games, WeatherBug Provides Schools with Advanced Notice of Lightning and Threatening Weather with Outdoor Horn Solution, Indoor Beacons, Mobile and Web-based Alerts

Germantown, MD – April 4, 2011Earth Networks, the provider of WeatherBug® products and services and operator of the largest weather observing and lightning network, today announced the availability of its Outdoor Alerting System for schools, colleges and universities. Featuring an outdoor horn, indoor alerting beacons and mobile and desktop alerts, the WeatherBug Outdoor Alerting System is specifically designed for outdoor mass notification and can be easily added to any WeatherBug Weather Station equipped with lightning detection technology.

Schools of all types –elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities – can now utilize the first commercially available mass notification solution to be integrated with in-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning detection technology. High rates of in-cloud lightning serve as precursory indicators of the potential for severe weather activity, including cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, heavy rain, hail, strong winds and the increased threat of tornadic activity. This detection technology provides school officials, faculty and staff more information and advanced warning of approaching severe weather.

The solution suite includes the following components and benefits:

  • A Professional-grade WeatherBug Weather Station and Lightning Detection Sensor Provides the most advanced warning of lightning and severe weather,
    • Detects in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning well beyond that of existing networks and single-node "prediction" or traditional detection systems, and
    • Records, in real time, numerous other weather measurements and parameters, including wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity and rainfall.
  • Advanced Alerting Systems
    • Sends alerts to school administrators and officials, faculty and staff where and when they are needed: Mobile devices, computers, indoor alerting beacons and outdoors with the new WeatherBug Outdoor Alerting System,
    • Includes user-defined thresholds and proximity limits, and
    • Provides all-weather, real-time visualization though a Web- and GIS-based solution.
  • Improved Access to Local Weather
    • Benefits the school district and community by providing access to local weather from neighborhood schools
    • Enables live weather, alerts and forecasts on mobile phones, computers and tablet devices.

The new WeatherBug Outdoor Alerting System is unique in both design and function. The patented design represents a new generation in omni-directional electronic sirens and is made from professional-grade components that operate in a wide temperature range, making it virtually maintenance free. The system is comprised of one or more 110 dBA horn units equipped with 170,000 peak candela strobe lights, which provide high-decibel output, attention-getting signals for maximum coverage from single or multiple siren sites.

"Schools have the very serious and important task of protecting children, faculty and staff from dangerous weather – yet, lightning strikes can and do occur on school property during a practice, game or outdoor event," said Frank McCathran, WeatherBug Education Director, Earth Networks. "Fortunately, new lightning detection technology and tools can help schools make weather-related decisions by providing enhanced safety and protection through severe weather identification and alerting. School faculty and staff can use mobile phones and computers for advanced weather alerts and updates, and will also be alerted through indoor beacons. When dangerous weather draws closer, professional-grade horns will sound the alarm to those on the athletic fields and school grounds to seek shelter before disaster, quite literally, strikes."

About the WeatherBug Schools Program
The WeatherBug Schools Program is committed to helping protect schools and provide an engaging teaching tool for students nationwide. The WeatherBug interactive software program, WeatherBug Achieve, enables teachers to apply real-world conditions to help teach skills and concepts in math, science and geography. Teachers and students in K-12 have access to weather local weather conditions from any of the 8,000 WeatherBug sites across the country. Using WeatherBug Achieve, teachers can also create customized learning activities based on current and historical weather conditions from the WeatherBug stations and cameras located at the schools.

About Earth Networks
Founded in 1993 as AWS Convergence Technologies, Earth Networks operates the largest weather observation and lightning networks in the world and is establishing a global environmental data network on an unprecedented scale. Earth Networks owns and operates the WeatherBug brand, which precisely monitors, organizes and distributes global weather information. The WeatherBug consumer brand (http://www.weatherbug.com) reaches millions as a trusted source for live, local weather information, while the WeatherBug Professional brand (http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com) serves a variety of markets that include federal, state and local governments, education, agriculture, energy and utilities, sports and recreation, media and transportation. Each day, consumers and organizations, including the National Weather Service, turn to WeatherBug to plan daily activities, safeguard lives and improve business operations. Earth Networks is based in Germantown, Maryland and is online at www.earthnetworks.com.

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About Earth Networks - WeatherBug
For 20 years, we have been Taking the Pulse of the Planet® using the world’s largest weather and climate networks. Our sensors across the planet keep consumers, businesses, and governments informed, updated and alerted. Our popular WeatherBug® apps and website provide neighborhood-level weather, superior forecasts and advanced severe weather alerts to more than 30 million people monthly. Enterprises such as schools, airports, professional sports teams, utilities and government agencies rely on our Early Warning Solutions to safeguard lives, prepare for weather events, and optimize operations. Know Before™.

 

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Rachel Hunt
Corporate Communications & Public Relations
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