About the Campus Weather Service
The Campus Weather Service provides an array of services to the community. We provide our forecasts free of charge over various media. We currently provide forecasts to radio stations across central and northwest Pennsylvania, and our video team is active with C-NET and the Centre County Report. We also provide our radio clients with fast severe weather alerts as they become available. To take advantage of these services, please contact us; we would be happy to provide free weather forecasts for your business as well. Thank you for visiting the Campus Weather Service website.
President: Christian Spallone
Vice President: Kaitlyn Potucek
Head of Communications: Tyler Hughes
Head of Forecasting: Denys Khrulov
Head of Business: Thomas Witte
Head of Information Technology: Justin Hassel
In 1969, Richard Anselmo and Raymond Visneski began providing forecasts for the Ogontz campus of Penn State. Anselmo was a sophomore at the Penn State Ogontz campus, while Visneski was a freshman at the Penn State Beaver Campus. These two students communicated with each other via computer and put together forecasts for the Ogontz campus. Their forecast was published on January 11, 1969. These forecasts were posted in prominent places around the Ogontz campus. From these two students, the Campus Weather Service was formed in 1972.
From its beginning, Campus Weather Service forecasts were depended upon by students and professors. The distinguishing quality that made CWS stand out was the tailored forecasts. Broad regional forecasts were the norm at the time, and Anselmo and Visneski provided a detailed weather forecast just for the Ogontz campus.
Both Anselmo and Visneski transferred to the University Park campus of Penn State. However, they continued to issue daily forecasts for the Ogontz campus and send them, via computer, to younger meteorology students at the Ogontz campus. Students there were responsible for recording instrument measurements at the Ogontz Campus weather station and posting the forecasts around campus.
The Campus Weather Service continued to grow in membership and number of clients. Up until 1977, CWS was a self-run organization without officers. However, in 1977, CWS began to appoint officers to run the organization. There was a president and a vice-president. At this time, Penn State had quarterly semesters. The Campus Weather Service provided forecasts only during the semesters for the first 15 years of its existence. Forecasts were only provided during the summer in a few years. However, Ed Keiser, president of CWS from Fall 1982 to Spring 1983, established CWS as a year-round organization. In addition, the position of vice-president of video operations was established. The following fall, semesters were changed from quarterly to tri-terms.
In 1984, another office was added to the Executive Council of CWS–secretary. A few years later, in 1986, the junior officer position was added. The junior officer was the President-Elect. Since there were no elections, a student was appointed to be the junior officer and was trained by the current officers for the year before he/she became president.
The first elections for officers of CWS took place on April 7, 1989. At this time, a number of changes took place. The position of Treasurer was added, while the Junior Officer position was suspended. Once CWS began to have elections, there was no real need for a Junior Officer.
The Campus Weather Service has continued to evolve and grow through the years. In 1995, the Campus Weather Service Outstanding Service Award was established to recognize those members who went above and beyond the normal expectations of a CWS member. In 1997, the Treasurer position was merged with the Secretary and the Vice-President of Severe Weather office was established. This new position allowed CWS to offer 24 hour, 7 day a week coverage of severe weather to its clients. Finally, in 1998, CWS branched out into yet another market; that of newspapers. The Vice-President of Collegian position was established and CWS began publishing a weather page for The Daily Collegian, a newspaper published by Penn State University Park students.
The 1998-1999 academic year was one of many changes for the Campus Weather Service. In order to offer more opportunities to its members and better serve its clients, CWS began four new committees. They were the Advising Committee, the Business and Marketing Committee, the Web Committee, and the Social Committee. The Advising Committee is composed of students from all classes and acts as a liaison between the members of CWS, the Executive Council, and the faculty. The Business and Marketing Committee was formed to attract new clients and ensure that our current ones are satisfied with our product. The Web Committee was formed to design a new webpage for CWS and a verification system for our forecasts. Due to the importance of this new aspect of CWS, a new position, the Vice-President of Web Operations, was created to head this committee. The Social Committee was formed in response to requests from members that there be more social events for members of CWS. Another change made during this year affected Vice President of Severe Weather. Since severe weather tends to occur mainly in summer, the position was renamed Vice President of Severe Weather/Head Shift Manager and this officer was put in charge of severe weather coverage and ensuring that all rules for radio shifts are being followed.
2002 marked the 30 year anniversary of the Campus Weather Service. As the 21st century continued, changes in the communications industry have forced CWS to evolve.
Not long after the web committee began making forecasts for our website, radio shifts began to post their forecasts online while continuing the CWS audio forecast, letting the web committee focus on website design and functionality. For much of the decade, the web committee was run by the VP of Web Operations with limited help. With the internet becoming exponentially more important in recent years, the committee is now larger.
In 2006, a points system was implemented. Members would need to gain experience in different areas of the organization to become qualified for shift manager and executive council positions.
In the spring of 2007, a project to greatly improve the website was completed. Recent additions have made it even better, such as the weather blog, where members go beyond the forecast to talk about the weather in more depth.
In 2008, we revitalized our business and marketing committee. A highlight of its efforts was a very special visit from Punxsutawney Phil, who was celebrated by the whole meteorology department in the weather station a few days before Groundhog’s Day.
With the truly thrilling construction of a new weather station the following winter, we received a new office for the newspaper branch, while the old reliable radio booth remained. Unfortunately, a flurry of radio clients changed format or disbanded in the 2007-2008 period. Some clients have requested e-mail only forecasts, further diminishing the traditional radio forecasting breadth for CWS. But our remaining clients continue to enjoy the products they receive. We are always looking outside the box for new clients to join the current mix.
The severe weather branch has had its ups and downs with member enthusiasm and effectiveness in recent years. But by reducing the number of hours of coverage and using a blog to give a daily summary and audio forecast geared towards severe weather threats, we are moving towards providing a more useful service to clients while encouraging greater student involvement.
The Penn State meteorology TV recording studio was state-of-the-art when it was built in September of 1999, but the digital age rapidly dated the technology. So in late 2008, with the help of massive donations, an overhaul of the studio was made. Members of the video branch were trained to use the new equipment.
As of summer 2009, cutbacks at The Daily Collegian have moved us off the front page of the paper. With only enough space for a very brief forecast, our VP of Newspaper Operations designed a webpage that brings back old features lost in recent years and adds new ones that are truly modern.
Many renovations were made to the Campus Weather Service during the 2009-2010 academic year. During the Fall of 2009, a transition team began formulating ideas for the future of the organization. After many months of hard work, a new constitution was written. The new constitution was presented and passed during the Spring of 2010 and the organization was broken down into two major concentrations: Forecasting and Communications. As well as forecasting and communications, there is also a Web Committee and a Fundraising Committee. Social Media and Networking was becoming increasingly popular and the organization decided it was time for an update. We can now be found on both Facebook and Twitter, which
are updated regularly.
The Fall 2010 Semester marked a very exciting semester for the Campus Weather Service. The organization began operating under a new governing constitution and continued to grow in popularity. In order to encourage a more fun atmosphere for the organization, an organization social has taken place each fall since 2010 in the Weather Center. Meanwhile, the Campus Weather Service has continued to serve the weather needs of our clients, providing many interviews to the Daily Collegian during severe weather such as October 2012’s “Superstorm
Campus Weather Service also celebrated 40 years of service in October 2012 and continues to be the premier student-run forecasting operation. Students volunteer for both forecasting and communications branch shifts and also have the opportunity to serve the organization in other unique ways. 2013 should be a very exciting year for the organization, beginning with our transition to a new state-of-the-art WSI TruVu Max graphics system in January 2013. From there, many efforts will be focused on implementing a live broadcast team which will provide real-time weather updates during critical weather events.
There is something for everyone in Campus Weather Service, no matter what direction you’re interested in taking within the field of meteorology. Whether it be providing live radio broadcasts, practicing your skills as a TV meteorologist, organizing social events, or improving the functionality and aesthetics of our website, there is something for everyone when you get involved with the Campus Weather Service!