Whether the skies are cloudy or sunny, Texas A&M International University's Center for Earth and Environmental Studies is collecting the data to help students learn and assist area residents.
Dr. Kenneth J. Tobin, director of the Center, said a new radar system, recently installed near Bruni, Texas, will improve the quality of rainfall data collected in this region.
"Our radar system will provide better coverage, particularly of low-laying rain events over Laredo, than either the National Weather Service radars out of Del Rio or Corpus Christi. Precipitation amounts collected from this radar, as well as data from the National Weather Service, are output to the Center's website at www.tamiu.edu/cost/drought," said Dr. Tobin.
Staff meteorologist, Hector Rivera, who previously worked as the on-air meteorologist at KVTV, operates the radar system.
Tobin said the new system would not be possible without the support of both the University and the Laredo community.
"Specifically, the Center would like to thank Mr. Robert Marshall for his generous support of this project and for providing the physical infrastructure necessary to support our endeavors and Dr. Juan H. Hinojosa, Dean of the College of Science and Technology," said Tobin.
Data from this instrument will support the development of a new program in earth science at A&M International. Tobin said this Fall semester, TAMIU will offer an advanced earth science class for the first time.
"Because of the new radar, students taking our Geohydrology class will have the opportunity to collect and interpret real-time radar data. Water is the fundamental resource in this region and we aim to educate students about this important issue," Tobin explained.
For more information about the Center for Earth and Environmental Studies or the new radar system, please contact the center at 326-2410, or visit offices in Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall, room 204.
For more information about the College of Science and Technology, please call 326.2440, or visit offices in Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall, room 301. University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.