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National Grid's Community Weather Monitoring Program Kicks Off at Ballston Spa School with WeatherBug Launch

June 12, 2014– The summer storm season is on its way, and National Grid is monitoring the weather closer than ever before. National Grid, in partnership with Earth Networks, has installed a WeatherBug® station at Gordon Creek Elementary School in the Ballston Spa School District. Information from the Internet-connected station will help the utility, as well as faculty and staff, make better weather-related safety decisions and deliver weather information to residents and officials in the community through mobile apps and online. Real-time weather data can be used in classroom lessons to support STEM initiatives and activities.

National Grid has committed to installing up to 12 WeatherBug® stations at schools across the New York Capital Region to enhance STEM education in the area and keep the community safer by providing real-time alerts and forecasts to first responders and others.

“National Grid must be closely tuned in to real time weather changes to make sure we are ready when storms hit the Capital Region. WeatherBug will help us do that while fitting in precisely with our goal of enhancing STEM education in our communities and making our neighborhoods safer by providing more local and accurate weather information,” said Jim Madej, National Grid’s senior vice president, and chief customer officer. “With a more robust network of local weather monitoring stations, National Grid will be able to monitor and respond to local weather situations much more accurately, meaning, for example, we should be able to reduce the amount of time it takes to restore power after a storm.”

Earth Networks, the parent company of WeatherBug®, operates the largest weather observing and lightning network. The Maryland-based company has been deploying weather sensors at schools and making weather more hands-on for K-12 students for 20 years. Today, the network includes sensors at thousands of schools, public buildings, parks and other sites throughout the country that provide live weather data 24/7.

“Live, local weather data performs a critical role in the community – from providing first responders with vital information on approaching severe weather, to informing school officials of snow and ice storms, to helping utilities better prepare for outages,” says John Bosse, Director, Energy Services, Earth Networks - WeatherBug. “We are delighted that National Grid is paving the way to make hyper-local weather data available in eastern New York State, beginning with Gordon Creek Elementary.”

Gordon Creek is deploying an on-site weather station that measures conditions including temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation, humidity and more. The station also calculates heat index, an essential factor when determining the safety of high school athletes and visitors.

Students will be able to report the data from the immediate surroundings during their morning announcement and as they complete their morning lessons in the primary classrooms. Staff will be able to access the information to make decisions regarding outdoor activities and preparations for afterschool activities and dismissals.

The weather station supports the elementary science curriculum as aspects of weather concepts are taught in Kindergarten, First Grade, and Fifth Grade. Students will be able to use the weather data from their hometown as they learn how to analyze and graph data for both their math and science lessons. This makes the data real to them and will allow them to compare the values measured with the weather station and their observations of the weather allowing both quantitative and qualitative observations.

“This inventive collaboration with National Grid and Earth Networks provides our students with the opportunity to be part of a national network as they utilize the real time date from the rooftop WeatherBug station in their science lessons and in the classroom daily,” said Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D., Superintendent of the Ballston Spa Central School District.

Additionally, WeatherBug’s smartphone apps will now allow school faculty, staff and parents to stay more informed of local weather and stay safer from lightning. The Spark lightning feature on the WeatherBug mobile app for Android and iPhone reports how far away the nearest lightning is and helps anyone concerned with lightning safety take action to stay safer.

To view the real time information from Gordon Creek, click on this link.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.

In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country. 

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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About WeatherBug

Millions rely on WeatherBug’s apps and website for the best forecasts, the fastest alerts and more. Our sensors, deployed at thousands of schools, major sports stadiums, broadcast TV stations and public safety facilities, put the power of the largest commercial-grade weather network at your fingertips.

Our exclusive Spark™ feature is the only tool that puts minute-by-minute, mile-by-mile lightning detection in the palm of your hand on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. WeatherBug is operated by Earth Networks. Learn more at . For more information on the WeatherBug Schools Program, visit: