The institute is focused on the unique weather and safety challenges of the transportation industry. The first goal is to create a comprehensive state-wide weather observation network including road, river and atmospheric conditions designed to enhance safety and increase business efficiencies. Harnessing the power of Alabama’s strengths in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the new Critical Weather Institute will focus on accelerating the growth of science and technology as it is applied to the transportation industry’s unique needs.
Plans are underway for the Baron Critical Weather Institute to expand Alabama Safety-Net, the weather alerting service donated to the State in 2012 by Baron’s commercial firm Baron Services, Inc. Alabama Safety-Net allows residents to receive highly location-specific weather alerts, free of charge, from the National Weather Service, Baron patented technology, and each Emergency Management Agency statewide.
The Institute will develop strategies for educational outreach which will include work with student scientists with a goal of a fuller understanding of how weather instrumentation contributes to our knowledge of the weather. Preparations are underway for a permanent location for the Institute.