Ever wanted to know exactly what the weather is on campus? Now you can, as the measurements of Rhodes’ personal weather station, perched atop Rhodes Tower, can now be viewed online at WeatherUnderground.
Per Dr. Ann Viano of the Department of Physics, the weather station reports standard measurements, including temperature, humidity, and precipitation, as well as solar radiation and the UV index. Explains Viano: “Solar radiation is the Sun’s power output per square meter of surface area (reported in Watts/m2). The Sun emits energy like a 1026 Watt lightbulb, but that is diminished as it spreads out in area at larger distances. At the distance of the Earth, and factoring in absorption by the atmosphere and the angle with which the Sun’s light hits the surface, the flux is reduced to a maximum of about 1100 W/m2. The UV index is calculated from the solar flux in the ultraviolet spectrum and a skin sensitivity function that weights shorter (and more damaging) wavelengths more strongly. A UV index of 10 represents a clear sunny summer day in the early 1980’s, when the UV index was first used.”
In addition, a weather camera shows a view of the sky to the west-northwest, allowing a view of incoming storms as they cross from Arkansas into Tennessee.