NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — It’s hailed as the Northeast’s king of weather-tracking tools—and it’s in the hands of Rutgers University students.
The university, NBC’s New York affiliate and Telemundo have partnered to make the TV stations’ new, high-powered weather radar system, StormTracker 4, available to Rutgers’ meteorology program. The technology is the only of its kind in the region, according to a press release from NBC, and it’s promoted as among the most accurate providers of real-time weather news.
“Not only will Rutgers’ unique partnership with NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 keep our region safe and informed when severe weather is on the horizon, it will also help us educate a new generation of meteorologists by giving our students access to the latest technology for monitoring the atmosphere in our area,” said Robert Goodman, head of Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Using radar imagery from the device, students will develop long-term analyses of climate trends and weather patterns in the Tri-State area, according to the release. Weather broadcasts aired on RU-TV, the school’s student TV network, will use the data.
StormTracker 4's data will also play a role in the classroom.
Rutgers boasts the state's only meteorology program that’s in line with federal guidelines, according to the release. Graduates have landed jobs at TV stations across the country, including NBC News’ “Today,” where former Scarlet Knight Dylan Dreyer works.
“We’re excited to give our meteorology students the opportunity to observe the weather as it is developing,” said Anthony Broccoli, who chairs the university’s department of environmental sciences.
Cook Campus, in North Brunswick, is home to StormTracker 4. Its range spans 50,000 square miles, tracking storms “directly from the ground level” and not just in the atmosphere, a feature that NBC said is unique.
Along with weather patterns, the radar offers “greater insight” into rain, hail, sleet, snow, smoke from brush fires and debris from tornadoes, according to the release.