By Bob McChesney, Executive Director, the Port of Edmonds
Say you’re walking along the boardwalk at the Port and you see whitecaps out on the Sound. You wonder how fast the wind is blowing and whether it will continue or slack off. Another time you may wonder about the tides: when the next high or low tide will be and how high or low it will get. Sometimes you just want to know how hot it is or how cold. Is it going to rain or is there a chance it will snow?
If you don’t already know about it, the Port has a computerized Weather Center right on the boardwalk available to the public 24/7. It is located in the mid-marina area across from the southwest corner of the Anthony’s building.
The Weather Center consists of several elements. There are three computer screens, one providing real-time weather data including temperature, wind speed and direction, rainfall and barometric pressure from an array of weather instruments mounted on the roof of the adjacent restaurant building.
One of the features we are most proud of is a second monitor with educational weather information prepared by students at the Edmonds School District Home School Resource Center (now known as Edmonds Heights K-12 School). They also created two relief panels illustrating important weather-related phenomena.
A third monitor provides NOAA forecast information and other weather links through the Internet. Operationally, the Center is very user-friendly and totally interactive, so that individuals can select exactly the information they wish to see.
There are a couple of new features of interest. Edmonds Heights has prepared new videos and educational materials that are presently on line. These kids do a very thorough job under the guidance of skilled instructors; their materials are both informative and entertaining.
In the near future the Port has plans to install an array of solar panels to power the displays. They will be located on the roof of the enclosure and, when fully operational, will make the display completely independent of external power. The Port is continually searching for ways to become better environmental stewards. This is a small but meaningful step in that direction.
The Port’s unique Weather Center is now four years old. It opened in June of 2006. The Rotary Club of Edmonds was instrumental in partially funding the project as a memorial to a former club member, Harold “Babe” Bucklin, a longtime Edmonds businessman and a Port Commissioner from 1969–89.
If you haven’t recently stopped by this wonderful public asset, I urge you do so the next time you are on the boardwalk. It is an educational, enjoyable and totally free amenity available for use by everyone: boaters, visitors and students alike.