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WWL-TV getting weather report from Hahnville High

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 4, 1998

BOUTTE – Forecasting the weather is an inexact science, especially in a area like Louisiana where it can change on a minute’s notice.

To help it better forecast the weather and to get more students involved in the field of meteorology, WWL-TV Channel 4 recently installed a Weather Link Station at Hahnville High School. The dedication of theweather station was held at the school last Thursday at a special ceremony featuring Carl Arrendondo, meteorologist with WWL-TV, and Judy Kalish with Automated Weather Source, Inc.

Hahnville is one of the 10 schools where WWL has installed a Weather Link Station and the only one in the River Parishes. Other sites include theFrench Quarter, Mandeville High School and the Southeastern Louisiana University Lab School.

“It gives us one more tool for observing and forecasting the weather one parish ahead of the metro area,” Arrendondo said. “It helps with weathercoming into the metro area. We can look at the information and give awarning ahead of time. It gets the students involved and lets them seethat the weather is not an exact science and be a part of the forecast.”Arrendondo said the station can calculate wind speed, pressure and temperature and collect rainfall. It is then transferred to a computer atthe site and recorded. Arrendondo said he can then call up the informationin either two ways, by internet or modem, and because Hahnville High School is on the internet, it is easier to access.

Arrendondo can go to the computer at WWL, click on and see the data coming in. He said the information from the National Weather Servicecomes at the top of the hour and by the time the weather comes on during the news it is 15 minutes old, whereas the data from the weather links is in real-time. Viewers can see the data, such as rain accumulating, as ithappens. The data is also stored and Arrendondo can click on and see whatit was a month ago.

Arrendondo said the weather link project is a special one for him. Growingup he was interested in the weather. A meteorologist came to a career dayat his school and that was when he realized what he wanted to do. So whenWWL came to him and asked how he would like to tap into the schools and get students involved, he jumped at the chance.

Arrendondo said the station not only allows students to tap into the local one but also ones at other schools around the country and around the world.

“To see students get more involved in the weather and technology, I was happy to get involved in it.”Kalish said it not only helps students learn about the weather but other fields of science, as well.

“It is a great way to learn not only about weather but also geography and earth science,” Kalish said. “It is not work, it is fun. It is a different lookon how education can be.”Teachers at the school gave a presentation on how the link station can help them in the classroom, everything from business and history to science, math concepts and communications.

Arrendondo said WWL-TV eventually wants 80 weather links on line and encouraged other schools to follow Hahnville’s lead.

“Hahnville High School really stepped up to be a part of the program,” Arrendondo said. “I could see how excited Hahnville High School and St.Charles Parish are.”One school that is looking to follow Hahnville is the Garyville/Mount Airy Magnet School. The magnet school is looking for sponsorships for its ownweather station.

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