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Recap Summer 2000 Newsletter

Summer 2000

This newsletter is also available in Adobe Acrobat format

Gustavus Logo

Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota is a nationally recognized, private liberal arts college with about 2,400 students.

The Geography Department uses a Capricorn 2000 weather station to support its meteorology and climatology courses, and to provide background data for research projects in physical geography, plant biology, and ecology.

Professor Mark Bjelland, Ph.D., notes that approximately 70 students per year take meteorology, and that there are always waiting lists to get into the course.

"We teach a meteorology course each year as a lab science course. For one laboratory project, the students must record weather observations for 30 days, and for another project, they must research specific weather events and forecasting accuracy. We store all the data on the computer and students retrieve it for their lab projects."

"For my lecturing in the course I often retrieve graphs of specific events such as the March 29, 1998 F-3 tornado that damaged much of our town and campus, the Nov. 10, 1998 mid-latitude bomb that passed over us, summer thunderstorms, wind storms, or just 30 days of temperature data. I make overheads of the graphs and use them in the meteorology and climatology classes."

"We have the instruments mounted on a pole on the science building roof. We collect pressure, wind speed, wind direction, and temperature data. We would like to add solar radiation and humidity."

"The unit is connected to a PC running Windows NT. We have a split screen display. One display is in the climatology laboratory and the second screen is located in a display case in the hall of the science building. Many people make a point of walking past the display case to see how hot or cold it is, the wind chill, or how much precipitation we have received. The display case also holds four other computer screens showing various satellite images, radar loops, and weather maps."

Gustavus had a Capricorn II weather station for a number of years and upgraded to the Capricorn 2000 after their lab equipment was damaged in a lightning strike.

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Weather Watching:
Resources for weather aficionados

by George Miller, Consulting Meteorologist

Weather buffs have been around for many years. The first systematic weather observations in the New World were taken by a Lutheran Minister, John Campanius Holm, after whom a National Weather Service award has been named. Thomas Jefferson was a weather buff who kept his own temperature and precipitation records. Perhaps it was his interest in meteorology that caused Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery to take weather readings as they traveled to and from the Pacific Ocean. And everyone is aware of Benjamin Franklin and his kites.

Weathermen and women have organizations to which they belong and periodicals with which they share information. There are national organizations and local branches of these organizations.


American Meteorological Society

The first to come into existence was the American Meteorological Society. This organization is based in Boston, Massachusetts. They have a host of publications. I belong to the AMS and have for many years. It was through this organization that I obtained my Certified Consulting Meteorologist Certificate. There are various classes of membership with this large organization and many major cities have local branches that meet several times a year.

The Oregon Chapter welcomes anyone who has an interest in meteorology. Our dues are nominally priced at $7 per year. One would have to check the national organization to find out about local chapter membership criteria.

You can check up on the AMS by visiting their web site This will give you information on membership as well as the listing of local chapters. The national AMS hosts many meetings annually around the country at which meteorologists from all over the world present papers with topics related to atmospheric sciences. Usually, local chapters invite local speakers to present programs at the local level.

National Weather Association

National Weather Association

Another organization that came into existence 25 years ago is the National Weather Association. The NWA "supports and promotes excellence in operational meteorology." Several local chapters have sprung up around the country. The NWA also holds annual meetings. They are based in Montgomery, Alabama and their web site is


By belonging to either organization, you receive a monthly mailing, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) or the NWA newsletter. NWA also puts out the quarterly National Weather Digest. These periodicals contain topics of interest from severe weather to climatic change.

Another periodical that I subscribe to is Weatherwise. This bi-monthly magazine also has very interesting articles that are perhaps more layperson orientated than the previous publications. The web site of the magazine is

There are many ways to follow the weather. These are just a few but perhaps they will spark your interest. Good weather watching and reading to everyone.

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Experience the Power of the New Capricorn 2000 Weather Display

Capricorn 2000 Weather Display

This intelligent touch screen monitor displays current weather information as well as min/max, trends, and calculated parameters. The display console connects directly to the Capricorn 2000 control module, so you can use your weather station with or without a computer.

The display is easy to use, toggling from screen to screen with the touch of your fingertip. The "Units" screen sets up the display to collect data from the sensors you have connected. Parameters are displayed in your choice of English or metric units.

Available in panel mount, a desktop chassis, or 19" rack mount, this display component of your Capricorn 2000 weather system is available for $1100. Complete systems start at $2500.

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