What is Baron Critical Weather Institute?

Baron Critical Weather Institute is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization founded in Alabama with the mission to provide world-class instrumentation in support of Public Safety, Educational Outreach, and Economic Development. 

Many Alabama entities statewide, such as Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), Emergency Management Association (EMA), 911, and weather providers have a critical need for access to World Class weather data. Prior to the Institute, each organization worked independently, but realizing the need and the importance of sharing information between entities, Baron Critical Weather Institute was created.

The goal of the Institute is to develop a high-density, real-time weather data network “Weathernet” statewide in cooperation with other statewide entities by using existing cameras and augmenting with additional strategically placed weather instrumentation systems, that include cameras and sensors, to fill the gap until such a time that we have populated the network for our entire state. 

The Institute is committed to providing a weather system to each county in Alabama, without charge.  This will help create a statewide “Weathernet” providing high-definition camera views and weather data information which includes information on temperature, air pressure, wind velocity, lightning detection, rainfall, UV and solar radiation, air density, and humidity, in real-time, every 10 seconds - across the state.  Ultimately, the goal is to have a high-density grid of 10-15 weather systems in each county, literally covering every mile of the skies over Alabama, in support of public safety.

Our mission also includes providing critical STEM educational outreach opportunities to local and regional partners. To this end, the Institute has partnered with STEM programs at The University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA), and the North Alabama Boys and Girls Club. Together they are providing key technical support and critical products needed for the manufacture of our Weather Instrumentation Systems to help meet the need across the state.

Alabama is a rich environment for weather research, especially in transportation. In addition to highways, and airways, the state has navigable ocean ways and more navigable waterways than any other state. This unique terrain of Alabama, from subtropical beaches to near tundra mountains, with variety of landscape, comes a broad expanse of weather - from hurricanes to winter storms. Realizing that economic development such as manufacturing, the movement of goods, farming, and other growth across the state is impacted by weather, the Institute realizes the importance and need of up-to-date weather data provide by the “Weathernet”.