The tornadoes that touched down in parts of Oklahoma during the month of April, including the rain-wrapped tornado that struck just outside the University of Oklahoma Norman campus, kicked off a violent start to Oklahoma’s tornado season. With tornado sirens, damage to infrastructure and extensive storm coverage by local tv news stations, these nights of violent weather are annual occurrences that Oklahoma residents of tornado alley have become accustomed to.
With the National Weather Service located on the Norman campus, OU's College of Professional and Continuing Studies (PACS) now offers middle school students in the local area and across the country another opportunity to further educate and prepare themselves for tornado alley’s violent and unpredictable weather. Precollegiate Programs, a PACS program, and the Oklahoma Mesonet, an OU-sponsored network of environmental monitoring stations in counties throughout Oklahoma, will offer the 2012 Mesonet Weather Camp June 10-15. Aimed at students who have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade by June 1, Mesonet Weather Camp is a weeklong residential summer camp that will teach students about the science of meteorology.
Taught by Oklahoma Mesonet meteorologists, the camp will expose students to methods of meteorological data collection including surface, satellite and radar information systems through in-class computer exercises. Additionally, students will receive tours of the National Weather Center, giving them up-close looks at Mesonet information facilities, the Norman National Weather Service forecast office, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) storm prediction center and the Science on a Sphere display. Students will also be invited to participate in field trips to the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology and the weather center of an Oklahoma City television news station.
"This year's summer camp host will host students from across the country, including Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Kansas, and Tennessee," said Holly Mills, Precollegiate Programs Program Specialist. "That diversity speaks to the value of the program, and Oklahoma's place as an important destination for learning about these weather patterns."
Additional information on Oklahoma Mesonet and other Precollegiate Summer Academies can be found at youth.ou.edu.