The Bahamas is now in what is traditionally peak hurricane season period. Blue Lagoon Island is inviting Bahamians of all ages to learn more about the weather that has such a tremendous impact on the island chain by taking a free comprehensive meteorology course offered by WeatherSTEM.
The free course has been made accessible to Bahamians thanks to the company’s relationship with Blue Lagoon Island. The private island destination invested in a WeatherSTEM system in 2019 just a few months ahead of Hurricane Dorian, providing an additional invaluable resource for watching the weather associated with the category 5 hurricane that devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama to the north.
“When you live in the tropics, the more you can learn about the weather, the better prepared you can be for the extreme weather conditions that head our way,” explained Robert Meister, Managing Director of Blue Lagoon Island.
Although the course is specifically designed to fit a high school curriculum, the material is presented in a way that is accessible to most youngsters and adults with an interest in the topic. This year the course is being offered for high school credit by the Florida Virtual School.
The course, which can be found at https://www.weatherstem.com/learn, features modules covering meteorology topics like Measuring and Predicting Weather, Solar Energy, The Atmosphere and the Oceans, Impacts of Change in Weather and Climate, and of course, Severe Weather.
“We have over 500 of these WeatherSTEM units all across the eastern United States and of course, The Bahamas,” explained Edward Mansouri, CEO and Founder of WeatherSTEM and developer of the free meteorology course, adding “Each of these systems has weather stations and cameras and that data is flowed into the course. So imagine taking a course where your assessments, your activities are driven by real world data that’s going on in the here and now. So that’s kind of the fabric of this course that we’ve created.”
The Blue Lagoon Island WeatherSTEM web page is open access so that anyone interested in hyperlocal weather data can find it. The site is https://bahamas.weatherstem.com/bli and includes real time temperature, wind, rainfall and humidity readings as well as a feature that shows the closes lightning strikes and timing. The WeatherSTEM system at Blue Lagoon Island includes two live cameras – one facing towards New Providence and the other towards Rose Island. At the end of each day, the system automatically generates two stunning time lapse videos using images captured every minute of the day.
In addition to providing access to the WeatherSTEM system, the week prior to Hurricane Isaias moving through The Bahamas, Blue Lagoon Island created the Bahamas Weather Watchers group on Facebook. The private group is a space where people living in The Bahamas as well as those who live elsewhere but have an interest in weather developments in the country can gather to learn and discuss.
“Our initial thought behind creating the group was to have a place where people besides just his personal friends could have access to our Managing Director’s severe weather information. He’s a serious amateur meteorologist and weather buff who provides tremendous local insight into the weather as it relates to The Bahamas,” explained Blue Lagoon Island Public Relations Manager Jessica Robertson.
“We had no idea the group would take off so quickly, nor that just a week or so later we would be faced with our first tropical system of the season, but we are thrilled that so many people have found the group to be such a useful and valuable tool,”
To date, the group has more than 1800 members and with each new tropical system, the membership grows. While it is a private group, anyone with a Facebook account who wants to gain access can do so by answering a few simple questions and agreeing to follow the established group rules.
The Bahamas Weather Watchers group is linked to Blue Lagoon Island’s WeatherSTEM Facebook page which provides constant information and updates from the island’s system.