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Industry News


Baron establishes Critical Weather Institute for Alabama transportation industry

Meteorological technology developer Baron Services has announced the establishment of the Baron Critical Weather Institute, a not-for-profit organization charged with investigating how weather impacts all aspects of the transportation industry.

The newly formed institute aims to create a comprehensive state-wide weather observation network including road, river and atmospheric conditions. This network will be designed to support improved decision making for citizens and commercial companies in Alabama to enhance safety, increase business efficiencies and improve the experiences of those traveling or recreating by air, land or sea.

Bob Baron, CEO and founder of Baron Services, said, “The Tennessee Valley and the state of Alabama uniquely experiences a broad range of weather events and contains terrain that extends from subtropical seashores to mountains along with navigable waterways, seaways, highways and airways. At the same time, our state is home to numerous manufacturing powerhouses who produce transportation-related products, including automobiles, boats, railcars and aircraft.”

Guiding the Institute’s development is a distinguished Science Council including Dr Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director, US Space and Rocket Center; Dr John Christy, director, Earth System Science Center, UAH and Alabama State Climatologist; Dr Steve Goodman, chief scientist, GOES-R, NOAA, retired; Dr Jack Hayes, Director, US National Weather Service, retired; Colonel Brian Hastings, USAF, retired, director, Alabama Emergency Management Agency; Daryl Herzmann, Systems Analyst, Iowa Environmental Mesonet; Dr Sytske Kimball, chair, Department of Earth Sciences, USA, director, South Alabama Mesonet; John McLaughlin, chief meteorologist KCCI, retired, Fellow AMS; Tom Thompson, partner, chief technology officer, Baron.

The Baron Critical Weather Institute’s efforts to develop, coordinate and support world-class instrumentation across the state will provide the final building block for major weather research and development, particularly in transportation.

Plans are underway for the Baron Critical Weather Institute to expand Alabama Safety-Net, the weather alerting service donated to the State in 2012 by Baron’s commercial firm Baron Services. Alabama Safety-Net allows residents to receive highly location-specific weather alerts, free of charge.

Additionally, the Institute will develop strategies for educational outreach, which will include work with student scientists with a goal of a fuller understanding of how weather instrumentation contributes to our knowledge of the weather. Preparations are underway for a permanent location for the Institute. - October 2018

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