National Weather Service honored CMU with its partnership and 100 years of observation


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Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jim Maczko, left, presents Central Michigan University President George Ross, right, with a certificate from the National Weather Service deeming it a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador on Monday, Sept. 19, at the CMU Power House.

The National Weather Service named Central Michigan University a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, Monday with an award honoring its partnership and 100 years of weather observations.

As an Ambassador, CMU helps the NWS improve the organization's readiness, responsiveness and overall resilience against extreme weather, water and climate events, said Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jim Maczko. For the past 100 years, Maczko said CMU has been a “very reliable weather observer” for the NWS.

“We know that Central Michigan is committed to the education of their students and also the development of them as professionals,” Maczko said.

A number of CMU alumni work for the NWS as meteorology professionals, including its Observing Program Leader, Brandon Hoving.

Before presenting the Honored Institution Award to President George Ross, Hoving gave an overview of weather and precipitation-related data CMU has helped collect during the last decade.

“(NWS) makes these nation-wide maps of average temperature and precipitation,” Hoving said. “CMU is one of the 1,200 sites we use to make these national analysis products, which is a nice accomplishment to be proud of.”

While presenting the meteorology program with the award, Hoving read a letter from the director of the NWS, Louis Uccellini, who congratulated CMU for its accomplishments in the program.

“It is truly a remarkable achievement to be celebrated,” Hoving read. “Your data is used to help quantify national and regional scale temperature changes. The many decades of recorded weather conditions have helped shape a climatic understanding of Central Lower Michigan.”

Daria Kluver, Assistant Professor of Climatology, said CMU supports research and student education. As a climate scientist, Kluver has used CMU’s historic weather observations to look at past climates, figure out why the climate has changed and help determine future projections of climate.

“In every class I teach, (students) deal with the data and look at 100 years of change,” Kluver said. “It really helps them to see the climate of their campus.”

CMU offers the only meteorology major in Michigan. The undergraduate program aligns with guidelines for the NWS and the American Meteorological Society.

A surface weather station installed on campus in 2013 allows students to use the same instruments as professional meteorologists to collect data about temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, solar energy and precipitation.

Colton Cichoracki, president of the student chapter of the American Meteorological Society, said the use of the weather station is a “lucky experience” for meteorology students.

“We really appreciate being lucky enough to have the station on our campus,” Cichoracki said. “We use the data quite often in our classes and learn from the data we receive. To celebrate 100 years providing weather observations, that’s pretty substantial.”

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McKenzie Sanderson is the Sports Editor at Central Michigan Life. She is a senior at Central ...

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