In an effort to dramatically improve outdoor safety on campus as it relates to weather, Principia has purchased one of the most advanced lightning detection systems available. WeatherBug by Earth Networks provides early detection warnings and "the most accurate lightning detection technology" on the market. The data collected will also be uploaded into the WeatherBug network which is used by the National Weather Service.
The lightning detection equipment is located on the roof of the Central Loop Plant, along with a horn and a strobe. There is also a horn and strobe attached to the top of the observatory tower. Between the two locations, the horns should be heard all around the campus, and strobes should be visible for all outdoor athletic department events.
When lightning is detected all Principia athletic events (games and practices) will be stopped immediately upon the warning, a long horn blast. Teams and fans will take shelter in the nearest building, and will not resume play until the "all clear" has sounded (3-five second blasts). This will happen 30 minutes following the last recorded lightning strike in the area.
The system is programmed to alert between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm, 7 days a week. Since many teams choose to have early morning practices and training sessions and many games last until 10:00 pm or later, the hours specified are a necessity.
Principia's Athletic Director Lee Elliscomments, "We are absolutely electrified that we no longer have to worry about the decisions that revolve around lightining and when it is safe to play."