Weather Research Center (WRC) advances the science of weather and the knowledge of the weather’s impact on the global community through research, prediction, and education in order to inspire America’s next generation of scientists and engineers.
The goal of The John C. Freeman Weather Museum is to make the community weatherwise and educate as many people as possible about weather and weather safety.
In 1966, Dr. John C. Freeman founded the Institute of Storm Research at the University of St. Thomas. Twenty-one years later, Dr. Freeman, along with his daughter Jill F. Hasling, founded the Institute’s successor organization, Weather Research Center [a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research organization] to respond to a need to educate the public about weather and weather safety.
Since its inception in 1987, WRC and its meteorologists have served over million people in Texas and throughout the country offering research, forecasting, and educational services. WRC opened The John C. Freeman Weather Museum in Houston’s Museum District on April 22, 2006. The Museum provides hands-on meteorological science education to the Houston community as well as many out-of-town visitors.
WRC’s activities are focused on: 1) education of newly graduated meteorologists in corporate, global marine and tropical weather forecasting, 2) outreach/community education programs for school children and adults, and 3) weather research.
Funds for the annual budget come from grants and fees for global weather forecasting, research, education programs, membership, admission to WRC’s Weather Museum, and charitable donations.
1. Education of newly graduated meteorologists:
Since no university is providing hands-on global, marine and tropical weather forecasting training, graduates from Texas A&M, the University of Oklahoma, and elsewhere come to the WRC as interns for on-the-job training. Internships last for 1 to 3 years and interns are compensated for their work at WRC.
They benefit from the opportunity to prepare actual forecasts for a variety of corporations, largely oil and drilling companies with operations worldwide. Clients have included: BP, Coflexip, ExxonMobil, Transocean, Rowan, SBC, Total, etc.
2. Outreach/Community Education Programs:
WRC inspires students through science experiments and presentations at the Weather Museum. Programs which emphasize science and mathematics are available both at the Museum and through site visits to partner organizations.
These programs include Weather Camp, Weather Labs and Weather Classes, Teacher Weather Workshops, and Student Summer Internships.WRC’s 20-plus partners include the American Meteorological Society, Cy-Fair ISD, HISD, Community in Schools, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, University of St. Thomas, University of Houston, American Red Cross, Health Museum, etc.
3. Weather Research:
These research projects range from forensic meteorology to detailed hurricane risk analysis for Texas Department of Insurance, detailed wind study and forecast for the installation of high-tech fabric Radome designed to withstand winds of more than 130 mph, forecasting for recovery tasks such as the Titanic, space capsules and other intricate projects.
Clients have included Oceaneering, Raytheon, etc.
UPDATE: Proudly, the Museum’s historic weather archives (including Isaac Clines’ working papers and the City of Houston Weather Records) are now safely cared for by the Rosenberg Library and Harris County Archives. The vast majority of the collections and archives will be kept locally.