The time-lapse, one-minute YouTube videos from WeatherSTEM that encapsulate 24 hours of the skies over Beaver Stadium are like eating potato chips.
You can’t stop at eating – or watching -- one.
There’s the bubbling and bouncing clouds of June 30, 2016. (To watch, click here.)
And then there’s the Nov. 21, 2015, home game with a noon kick against Michigan. (Click here.)
And then there’s the beautiful day on June 28, 2016, that ends with State College Spikes’ fireworks over Lubrano Park. (Click here.)
And then there’s the colorful sunrise of May 30, 2015, with clouds building in the afternoon, followed by fleeting rainbows at the :45 and :50 marks. (See below.)
All are the work of Penn State alum Ed Mansouri, CEO of Ucompass, a tech company based in Tallahassee, Fla. He created a high-tech, full-service weather station that does everything from measuring wind speed and solar radiation to automatically filming -- and posting -- those aforementioned video clips of the clouds over Beaver Stadium.
Mansouri has donated a couple of those stations for use across the Penn State campus – at the Arboretum, the Penn State golf courses and Beaver Stadium – as well as the site of Ag Progress Days in Rock Springs along Route 45, at Shaver’s Creek and at Park Forest Elementary School. (Access Shaver’s Creek here and the others here.)
The WeatherSTEM station that records those clouds over Beaver Stadium is placed atop the Jeffrey Field press box, with the camera pointed northeast at the stadium. The camera produces a live feed, with several weather data updates. It also collects images and mega-data points, posts the pictures on Twitter and Facebook, and then at the end of every day, the images – which are archived once per minute – are combined into a day-long time-lapse highlight reel of a day in the life of Happy Valley’s ever-changing skies. The reel is then uploaded to YouTube.
In the words of PSU meteorology prof Jon Nese of Weather World fame, the videos are “often mesmerizing just to look at, but they’re also great for educational purposes. I encourage my students to watch them.
“You don’t truly appreciate how active the atmosphere is until you watch it in time lapse. It’s fluid and the fluid is not necessarily moving in the same direction at every level. The clouds are tracers of the movements. It’s just plain crazy to watch how they move.”
Mansouri, who also has a degree from Florida State, has WeatherSTEM trackers in all 67 counties in Florida. He brought his systems – at no charge -- to Penn State thanks a trio that includes Nese, the project’s point person; Larry Ragan, director at Penn State’s Center for Online Innovations in Learning, and the first to encourage Mansouri to bring his cameras to PSU; and Penn State president Eric Barron. (Yes, Barron and Mansouri first met when Barron was president at FSU. And yes, the connection did help cut through some blue and white red tape.)
“Without Jon’s energy and enthusiasm, there’s hardly a snowball’s chance in hell that we would have ever gotten this done,” Mansouri said. Funny, since now there’s every chance of seeing snowfall at Beaver Stadium from your computer or phone. (There are WeatherSTEM mobile apps available.)
Mansouri has WeatherSTEM cameras in 10 ACC football stadiums, as well as at numerous colleges in Florida. He has also placed WeatherSTEM in all 67 counties across Florida, envisioning it as a real-life learning tool for kids K to 12. He’d like to see the same thing happen in Pennsylvania.
“I’d like to see LionSTEM in every school district across Pennsylvania, to help them study weather and agriculture in a way that positively reflects on Penn State,” Mansouri said. “A lot of kids may not care about weather, but they like football. So if you can use real weather data from Beaver Stadium for science and math lessons, you might be able to get kids more interested in learning.”
The STEM moniker has a dual meaning. There’s the “science, technology, engineering and math” component. And rhere’s also the new plant and root implications of the equipment, which measure soil moisture, shade and solar readings, and other key agricultural components.
For now, as an alum Mansouri is proud that Beaver Stadium is the one venue his system covers that draws the most interest. He’s also proud of the site’s “Football Weather Almanac,” a weather database that lists the hour-by-hour weather for every home and away Nittany Lion football game since 1954.
You can also access the every one-minute time lapse recording of the Beaver Stadium skies, beginning with May 13, 2015. You get there, click here, click on “Cameras” and then click on the icon of the arrow-turning clock.
The Beaver Stadium weather station is on Facebook at "PSU Beaver Stadium Weatherstem" and on Twitter @PSUFootballWx.
Here are some other suggested time-lapse videos of Beaver Stadium that Nese and Mansouri say are recommended viewing; Nese’s commentary is included. To access the YouTube videos, click on the first few words of each entry.
Double Rainbow, May 6, 2016 – “Clouds moving in from the northeast all day, eventually rains (a nor’easter), then a double rainbow over Beaver Stadium at 0:48.”
Uptempo Weather Change, March 17, 2016 – “Colorful sunrise, squally March day, clouds coming from the southwest dump multiple quick showers. Really cool. One of those days in March when, if you lived through it, you were saying, ‘Wow, the weather changes fast here.’”
Foggy Mount Nittany Breakdown, Sept. 23, 2015 -- “You’ll like this if you want to see fog and how it burns off, yielding to a mostly sunny day with brilliant blue skies except for a few puffy clouds forming over Mount Nittany.”
The views and opinions of the authors expressed therein do not necessarily state or reflect those of StateCollege.com.