New Weather Network in Puerto Rico (What You Need to Know)
- Aug 30, 2018
Nearly a year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, there is now a new weather network in Puerto Rico.
Earth Networks and EcoExploratorio, the Science Museum of Puerto Rico, have partnered up to create a weather network on the island. The network consists of 12 stations located at various schools. These weather stations should help the community prepare for and understand future weather events.
The participating schools are located in:
- Cayey Humacao
- Toa Baja
- San Juan
This educational alliance is made between the museum, the Department of Education, the National Meteorological Service, the Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Management, the Alianza Somos Una Sola Vox, the Unidos por Sola Foundation, and Earth Networks.
You can watch the entire announcement and press activities below. Earth Networks Field Technician, Ben Michalak, is seated second from the right.
Hurricane Maria Destroyed the Previous Equipment
Last year, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. The storm hit the island as a Category 4 major hurricane, with sustained winds of 155 mph. Landfall occurred on September 20, 2017.
From a meteorological standpoint, Hurricane Maria was a worse-case scenario for Puerto Rico. Research by the Climate Impact Lab suggests that no larger area has been hit so comprehensively anywhere in the world in the past 60 years.
Hurricane Maria could be the deadliest natural disaster in United States’ history. Puerto Rico’s government recently raised the official death toll from 64 to 2,975. This approximation is based on the findings of researchers from George Washington University in a study commissioned by the US commonwealth’s government.
“Hurricane Maria destroyed the meteorological infrastructure of Puerto Rico. We lost a lot of instruments, including the Doppler radar. Now, each meteorological station will have all the necessary equipment to provide us with more data,” said the president of the Board of Director of the ExoExploratoria, Ada Monzon.
All About the New Weather Stations
These real-time weather stations include:
- Rain gauge
- Wind vane
- Control equipment
Some of these stations also have total lightning sensors. Total lightning detection is the best way to predict different forms of severe weather because it detects both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground strikes.
Weather Stations at Schools
Besides rebuilding the island’s weather network, the project also seeks to impact the entire school community. “We want to inspire students and teachers who are part of this educational initiative, which not only has an impact on our communities, but also in response to emergencies and issuing notices of our agendas that protect life and property,” said Monzon.
Now teachers will receive training for the Project Based Learning (PBL) method. The themes of PBL include resiliency to natural disasters, climate change, safe construction practices, renewable energy, and other real-life skills that will aid learners on the island.
The program includes the delivery of a Teacher’s Educational Guide and the Student’s Educational Guide, which contain the planning process, didactic material, activities to develop, and references necessary to carry out a structured project.
A total of 120 students were certified in the Community Emergency Response Team and 540 student were part of the Emergency Scenarios Workshop along with the Emergency Management Bureau.