For almost year, students here have dutifully logged these details under the careful tutelage of Jules Rottella, the school's science teacher.
Rottella is a soft-spoken man who on a recent day moved through sections of the school's garden - part of its environmental center - yanking up dandelions.
Unlike most gardeners, however, Rottella did not see the weeds as a total nuisance, but noted that some varieties - particularly those with the jagged leaves - are actually good to eat.
"A little salt and you have a salad," he said with a deadpan tone that could easily be taken for humor. But he was quite serious. "I wouldn't recommending eating those you find along the side of a road, not with all the exhaust fumes. But you can eat them."
Rottella is the kind of teacher who insists that kids learn both the theory behind science and the practical applications. Many learn the basic principles in the classroom and can apply what they have learned in other ways. In traveling through the classroom, kids may be pondering over maps of the moon or separating buttons. This last is an experiment in natural selection, and Rotella tells kids to separate the hundreds of buttons by color, number, holes and size.
The weather station, located in the back of the school and just outside a door from his classroom, is one of the tools used in this regard, part of a larger project that began two years ago during late April's Arbor Day Celebrations.
The Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission helped install the outdoor classroom environmental study area, lending its landscape architects to help with the design. The staff of the town's Department of Public Works helped with construction. Huber Street students helped design and plant the garden.
The project was funded by private donations from Secaucus residents and local businesses.
"We do a project in town every Arbor Day," said Michael Gonnelli, superintendent of public works. "Some of what we get in donations goes toward it."
The weather station was installed at the environment center last September, and has become one of the ongoing projects students here maintain in their earth science lessons.
"Last year, a weather station was added to the habitat, allowing students to record daily wind speeds, temperature and other weather related readings," Huber Street School Principal Pat Cocucci said.
None of this information went to waste. Students took the information retrieved from the school weather station and sent it to Channel 4 News, which incorporated it into its programming. This is part of a partnership developed between the school and Channel 4 News, allowing the school to become part of the news station's Neighborhood Weather Net program. Huber Street School, Cocucci said, has been mentioned many times on New Channel 4 during the station's Realtime Weather Reports.
A visit from a real weatherman
When the top weatherman from News 4 decided to pay its Huber Street weather station a visit last month, needless to say, kids got excited.
Meteorologist Chris Cimino's visit, Cocucci said, worked well in conjunction with this "living classroom," in which students have been able to experience real-life science on a daily basis.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the children in our schools to learn about weather and other related issues," said Cocucci. "During the past few years, environmental topics have been included in the science curriculum." But some students also decided to incorporate another on-going project into the mix. Two students who are involved in the school newspaper as well as the weather program decided to interview Cimino for a profile piece. "We asked him questions about his background," said one of the school's reporters, Kaefer Garcia. "We wanted to know how he got where he was."
Garcia is looking to study law, not journalism, but apparently found the interview enlightening.
Reabel Calubayan, the other school reporter who worked on the story, said he sought to get the details about Cimino's career.
"We wanted to know how he got his start and how he got where he is," she said, noting that she would like to follow a career in journalism if her first choice, computer engineering, doesn't pan out.
(The school newspaper started in December when the members of the staff started organizing, with teachers Diane Quail and Lucille Wright overseeing the operations.)
Cimino, the meteorologist for the No. 1-rated "Today in New York," was promoted to that post after serving as the meteorologist for "NewsChannel 4's" weekend editions of "Today in New York" and "NewsChannel 4 at 6 and 11 p.m." for three years.
A native New Yorker, Cimino joined Channel 4 as weekend meteorologist in December 1995. He came to the station from WTXF-TV in Philadelphia where he was the weekend weather anchor for late news broadcasts. He also served as the weekday weather anchor for the morning and noon newscasts on WLWT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati, Ohio, and held similar position with WNEP-TV, PA and WROC-TV in Rochester, NY.
Prior to that, Cimino was the senior broadcast meteorologist for the Metro Weather Service Inc., NY, forecasting and broadcasting weather reports to more than 25 radio stations nationwide.
The students found out in their interview that Cimino was a recipient of the prestigious American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from the City College of New York.. He currently lives with his family in East Brunswick.