UAH's new Severe Weather Institute - Radar and Lightning Laboratories (SWIRLL) is boosting the interest of prospective graduate atmospheric science students and reinforcing the university's increasing severe weather and lightning research prominence. Built through a $7 million state grant made possible by Gov. Robert Bentley, SWIRLL grows UAH's severe weather and atmospheric science education and research capabilities and fulfills a recommendation of the state's Tornado Recovery Action Council to use state universities for severe weather research. "It is our belief and hope that research conducted within this facility will save lives not just in Alabama but anywhere severe storms are a threat," said UAH President Robert Altenkirch. "Unfortunately, Alabama experiences frequent threats from weather events - from the Gulf Coast to North Alabama - and UAH researchers are at the forefront of finding ways to mitigate the impact of severe weather. We are truly appreciative of Gov. Bentley's vision and support of making Alabama safer for its citizens."