Helping Business Weather the Storm

When Lightning Strikes, WDT Helps Norman Public Schools Stay Safe

by Daphne Thompson, on Feb 5, 2009 1:55:54 PM

Norman, OK, February 5, 2009--Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. (WDT) is helping Norman Public Schools (NPS) keep children safe using its cutting-edge Lightning Decision Support System (LDSS) for advanced severe weather warnings and its iMapWeather interactive weather map. The new systems went live at each of the 22 schools in the NPS system this month, offering the schools their own custom LDSS warning, based on the precise latitude and longitude of each of the schools across the Norman school district.

The WDT LDSS system offers a unique lightning detection and warning function, with alerts to schools for lightning strikes detected within six miles and within 30 minutes time. The system is designed for use by administrative staff, or any athletic, music, and other department affected by swift weather changes.

With the LDSS, each elementary, middle school and high school in Norman will be able to access local severe weather warning data via desktop and laptop computers and cellular phones. Each school has already received and is testing the system, which allows key school staffers the ability to access severe weather warnings via email, or receive time-sensitive weather data directly to their mobile devices whenever they are out in the field. The company is also training the staff members and the principals at each school to use this "state-of-the-science" weather application.

Schools also have access to WDT's industry-leading Google Maps-based iMap flash module, which provides amazing weather detail layered onto Google Maps. This allows schools to access radar information right down to the athletic field or street level -- anywhere in the U.S. Coaches may access information for home or away games and athletic or curricula travel destinations. iMap includes:

Powerful GeoPlex Technology for global weather data in Google Maps.
A "Click Anywhere" function on interactive maps to view current conditions and forecasting.
Easy zoom-in and out, right down to street level to view WDT radar imagery and forecasts for precise locations.
Science teachers in each of the schools will also have access to iMap to help teach some of the fundamentals of the science of meteorology and geography, helping to broaden the science and technology offerings in the classroom.

"We are very grateful to WDT for providing us with a full suite of weather monitoring and alerting information, including precipitation, temperature, winds, as well as local watches and warnings for tornadoes, fog, ice, lightning, and other severe weather conditions," said Roger Brown, Assistant Superintendent, NPS. "You can never have too much information at hand when it comes to keeping our children safe," he said.

"WDT is pleased to offer the Norman school system a robust system for monitoring local weather and providing actionable tools which are designed to help keep Norman school children safe," said JT Johnson, Chief Technology Officer at WDT. "We look forward to working with the schools to improve our service for use by the nation's schools system," he added.

About Norman Public Schools
The Norman Public Schools are recognized on the state and national level for exceptional teaching and instructional programs. Serving the third largest city in Oklahoma, the District attributes much of its success to the community's support and commitment to quality public education. Norman is a growing and progressive community. With 14,025 students as of October 2008, this 6A School District has 1,932 employees, making it the second largest employer in Norman.

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