Campus weather conditions just a click away
WCAS Radio is among the few university stations to offer localized weather information.
March 31, 2015
Feel like talking about the weather? You’re in luck. Now you can tune into MSU Denver’s radio station, WCAS Radio, scroll down and click the “Current Campus Temps” in the left column. You’ll get all the latest weather info for the Auraria Campus: temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity percentages, rain levels and barometric pressure. The page is also available at msudenver.edu/weathernow.
Before now, weather reported on the station came all the way from Denver International Airport.
“That’s an awfully long way from our campus,” said Jim Furrer, assistant professor of broadcasting for the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, who oversees WCAS Radio. “Now we report weather conditions just one block from our studios in Central Classroom, Room 108.”
Furrer and Carl Meese, AHEC’s senior campus planner, are credited with adding the service.
While reading Metropolitan Denver Magazine last year, Furrer noticed a photo of an AHEC weather sensing station between the Community College of Denver’s Confluence Building and the 9th Street Historic Park. AHEC had purchased the station to connect with an electronic rain gauge to save water by deactivating the campus sprinkler system during rain.
“At the time, I was pursuing funds for just such a weather sensor for the department's radio station,” said Furrer. “We needed to do what any good radio station does for its listeners, provide timely weather updates including current conditions. All we had available to us were the National Weather Service reports from their official site for the Denver region, located all the way out at DIA.”
Furrer realized he needed only a receiver and some software to harness the AHEC station’s telemetry to get a full menu of weather conditions. A few months later it was done.
“It’s really nice to have that system up and running for anyone who wants to know the weather conditions,” said Meese.
“I give Carl and AHEC a big thanks for helping to push this project to completion,” said Furrer. “As far as I know we’re the only university radio station that offers this kind of local weather data so it’s a nice, practical addition to what the station does for the community.”
Furrer encourages readers who aren’t familiar with WCAS Radio to tune in. “We stream 24/7 and can do everything a regular radio station does, plus it gives the students real world experience,” he said.