Our meteorology lab consists of PCs and Linux machines configured to access internet-based weather data and multimedia modules. These meteorological training modules, developed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), are used throughout the private sector and National Weather Service for further training and understanding of atmospheric processes. NIU is a member of UCAR's Unidata program, which provides student access to real-time meteorological data (e.g., Doppler radar imagery, satellite imagery, surface and upper-air data, full suite of numerical model data, etc.) and state-of-the-art software packages. The meteorology lab contains a large digital map wall that displays current observations across the Midwest and U.S., providing a backdrop for interactive, student-led weather discussions.
Using the Linux machines in the lab, students can access NIU's supercomputer, Gaea. On this hybrid computer cluster, students can run the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, which is a next-generation numerical weather prediction system used for research and operational forecasting.