HAMPTON, Va. (July 17, 2019) –Hampton University has received notice of a $135,000.00 grant from the Economic Development Authority City of Hampton, Virginia, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, (“EDA”) to fund the “Center of Excellence,” Hampton University’s Severe Storm Research Center.
“With the creation of this Center, Hampton University can continue to provide breakthrough satellite data and real-time information about area storms with our weather technology that rivals most weather centers in the country,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
The “Center of Excellence” will use Hampton University’s state of the art weather technology for weather data collection, analysis and prediction, and recruit world-class experts, as well as collaborating with the EDA to support, promote and expand key clusters. It will also provide the latest severe weather reports, for the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of the City of Hampton.
The “Center of Excellence” will be a facility, which will operate in the City of Hampton as a high-tech company and create value-added jobs. It will foster collaboration among various regional and state economic drivers and allies to pursue excellence in weather forecast capability. Through commercialization, the center will promote success in the achievement of its objectives as well as grow in an innovative and entrepreneurial eco-system.
The primary goal for the Center is to be better prepared for storms like Hurricane Florence that hit North Carolina in September 2018, killing 54 people and causing over $24 billion in damages. “We want to be able to detect those thunderstorms, big and small. Our weather modeling tool is high-resolution temperature and moisture soundings derived from satellite observations received in real-time at Hampton University. With the addition of expert weather scientists supported by modern techniques and advanced technology, the Center will be able to have better prediction models of the land fall of hurricanes and the location of severe thunderstorms,” said Bill Thomas, Associate VP of Governmental Relations at Hampton University.