Weather Center Gets New Name, Location


Posted on February 11, 2020
Amber Day


Dr. Tony Waldrop, University of South Alabama president, talks with Beth Thomas, corporate communications manager for Alabama Power, inside the new Alabama Power USA Coastal Weather Research Center. The center provides weather forecasting to more than 100 clients.  data-lightbox='featured'
Dr. Tony Waldrop, University of South Alabama president, talks with Beth Thomas, corporate communications manager for Alabama Power, inside the new Alabama Power USA Coastal Weather Research Center. The center provides weather forecasting to more than 100 clients.

The newly relocated Alabama Power USA Coastal Weather Research Center hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting today on the University of South Alabama campus.

A grant from the Alabama Power Foundation will bring significant opportunities to the Coastal Weather Research Center.

“The center is an important part of the meteorology program at South,” said Dr. Sytske Kimball, professor of meteorology and chair of earth sciences. “We are thankful for Alabama Power’s commitment to our program. Their gift has allowed us to move the facility to a more student-friendly location on campus that’s been newly renovated and provides access for our students and staff to work with state-of-the art technology.”

The Alabama Power Foundation has supported the University of South Alabama for the past 30 years.

“We are proud to continue our investment in the Coastal Weather Research Center, an innovative, entrepreneurial program that serves as a teaching tool for meteorology students and delivers crucial weather forecasts to more than 100 clients,” said Alabama Power Foundation President Myla Calhoun. “Businesses, manufacturing facilities and even other universities look to the Coastal Weather Research Center to keep them abreast of changing weather conditions and to help keep their employees, customers and students safe.”

The facility has been moved out of the basement of the USA Mitchell Center, where it was located since 1999, to a newly renovated space at the Science Laboratory Building. The location allows the staff to develop an emergency alert center that will include a video wall for displaying maps and models, as well as an area to hold briefings. The center also includes new HVAC, carpeting, painting and cabinetry.

For South’s meteorology students, the new location represents a unique academic opportunity in a space more conducive to learning.

“I decided to attend South for many reasons, but the phenomenal meteorology program certainly influenced my choice,” said Madison Mosley, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in meteorology. “The program is extremely well-structured and provides opportunities to learn and work while in college. The new center is located in a building that facilitates a good working environment and has better access to parking.”

The new location includes a new meteorology broadcast center, where students can develop real weather forecasting and participate in operations as interns. Weather broadcast segments produced by students are published through the center’s YouTube channel “AtmosCenter USA” and featured on JagTV.

“At the Coastal Weather Research Center, students are able to see forecasting happening in real time, which is very beneficial to what I will be doing in my career as an operational meteorologist,” said Carmen Hernandez, a meteorology student. “The broadcast center is also there, which is great for broadcast meteorology majors to be able to practice their newscasts and improve while in college. I am very excited about my future career, because I feel like the meteorology program at South is preparing me and giving me opportunities to be able to stand out to future employers.”

The University’s Office of Development coordinated the grant. For more information, contact the USA Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (251) 460-7032.


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