July 13, 2018 at 9:05 am

Get Athens-Specific Weather Forecast from New Scalia Lab Website

2 Screenshot_2018-07-13 Home – Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis

Ohio University’s Scalia Laboratory—the only place to get current weather conditions and an Athens-specific forecast—just launched a new mobile-friendly website.

“When we moved here, our house didn’t have internet service or even TV service. So every morning we called Scalia Lab at 593-1717 to get the forecast,” says Dr. John Gilliom, Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Now he has the new Scalia Lab site on his iPhone. But he notes that the phone number, 740-593-1717, still offers a daily message recorded by an OHIO student forecaster.

Phone with scalia lab website displayed.

By the time Gilliom arrived in Athens in 1991, the student forecasters had advanced beyond their early start with a weather vane, a max-min thermometer, an eight-inch rain gauge, and an answering machine. (See “A Brief History of Scalia Laboratory and Meteorology at Ohio University.”)

Student Forecasters on a Mobile-Friendly Site

Now Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis gives undergraduate meteorology students real-time forecasting experience from the top floor of Clippinger Laboratories in the Geography Department. The new website pulls in current weather readings from the on-campus weather station and radar and satellite images from the National Weather Service. And every forecast has a Meet the Forecaster link with a photo and information about the student.

Austin Patrick, portrait

Austin Patrick ’19

“He used to be scared of storms when he was really young, but severe weather has now become one of his main areas of interest in meteorology,” says the forecaster bio for Austin Patrick, a senior majoring in Geography-Meteorology at OHIO.

“The new website provides a fresh, clean, and streamlined look. One of its greatest improvements is that the site is entirely mobile-friendly. You can access your weather information and forecast easily on your phone from our website, and the quality of all images, text, and data are not compromised when viewing on a smaller screen like a mobile or tablet,” says Dr. Ryan Fogt, Associate Professor of Geography and Scalia Lab Director.

Logan Clark '19, portrait

Logan Clark ’19

“The development and growth of the Meteorology Department at OHIO inspired the team at Scalia Lab to present the idea of a new website to issue our products. This website offers a sleeker, yet simpler look to display our local forecasts for Athens, OH. Red Tail Design did a remarkable job of putting together our new website, and we will to continue to add new products in hopes to improve student and public interest. For the residents of Athens and SE Ohio, we strive to be an accurate and reliable source for weather news, and we hope that you continue to use us and enjoy our products!” said Logan Clark, Associate Director of Scalia Lab and a senior majoring in Geography-Meteorology.

A Research Lab, Too

Scalia Laboratory is also a research facility, where students and faculty investigate a wide variety of meteorological and climatological phenomena.

“Scalia Lab gives our students invaluable hands-on experience that prepares them for a variety of careers, including forecasting for broadcast media and weather services,” said Dr. Joseph Shields, Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “It also provides undergraduates access to research experience with our faculty. Dr. Fogt is currently studying the past climate of Antarctica through pressure reconstructions. And Dr. Jana Houser is immersed in supercells and tornadoes, having just returned from a trip chasing storms in Tornado Alley.”

Built By OHIO Alumni and Students

Building a site that can be easily updated by student forecasters—while pulling in data streams from the on-campus weather stations along with radar and satellite images from the National Weather Service—involved lots of work by the OHIO students and website designers at Red Tail Design Co.

Red Tail is owned and operated by OHIO alum Tim Martin, with the Scalia Lab developed by OHIO alumni Will Presley and Ben Wiebel.

“Growing up I always remember my parents calling in on the Scalia hotline to listen to the weather hotline voicemail. It was always the only source we trusted, so we wanted to make sure that hotline number was still prominent on the website, but still give the website an update look, feel and usability for everyone in our community to enjoy!” Martin said.

Kevin Thiel '19, portrait

Kevin Thiel ’19

“The new Scalia Lab website is a big accomplishment for the lab, and the meteorology program at OHIO. We created lots of new products over the past year to increase traffic on the site, so a new, mobile-friendly website is another big step forward. This way the lab can better serve our volunteer student forecasters, along with residents in Athens and throughout Southeast Ohio for years to come!” said Kevin Theil, a Senior Geography-Meteorology Major and Mathematics Minor who serves as webmaster and forecaster for the Scalia Lab.

Andrea Lorek, portrait

Andrea Lorek ’19

“As the incoming webmaster, it is exciting to be involved in the transition process to this new site. Red Tail Design and the previous webmaster, Kevin Thiel, have put a lot of work into making this become a reality. The modern look is very appealing and still incorporates the essential and detailed information from the previous site into one that fits in with the rest of Ohio University. I am looking forward to what the future will bring for Scalia Lab, and I am glad to be a part of it now,” said Andrea Lorek ’19.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *