Combining IT and science to monitor the weather

Chuck Pavloski discusses the IT and science behind meteorology at Penn State.

ARTICLE | April 8, 2014  CURRENT

Chuck Pavloski sits in his office on the sixth floor of Walker Building on a cold March day and keeps an eye on the continuous streams of data packets coming across his computer monitor.

“With the ice storms on the East Coast, we’ve seen a real increase in people using our eWall,” he says.

The eWall, or electronic wall, was developed by well-known Weather World host and senior lecturer in meteorology Fred Gadomski, as a way for students, forecasters and weather enthusiasts to have a one-stop, online location for current weather information. To the novice, the eWall’s home page is a dizzying digital display of numbers and computerized weather data from various countries including the United States. But when used as a utility page, the eWall is a major resource for meteorologists around the world for viewing computer-simulated models of the weather.

Pavloski, director of meteorological computing and research associate in Penn State’s Department of Meteorology, spends most of his day monitoring the eWall as well as a plethora of servers, switches, applications and services for which his IT team is responsible. A quick glance at his status screen lets him know immediately of any service outages so he can rectify the issue before faculty and others experience any problems.

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