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Kentucky Mesonet continues growth; sites added in McLean, Carroll counties

The Kentucky Mesonet is expanding its weather and climate monitoring network to McLean and Carroll counties.

The McLean County station is being installed about five miles northwest of Calhoun on the farm of JimmyVanCleve on Jim Porter Road. The Carroll County station is being installed near Carrollton on property owned by chemical manufacturer Arkema Inc.

“We are extremely pleased to have new stations in McLean and Carroll counties as part of the Kentucky Mesonet,” said Dr. Stuart Foster, director of the Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU. “These sites will provide valuable data to assist National Weather Service meteorologists in producing forecasts and severe weather warnings, and will also provide benefits to a wide range of interests in the local area.”

More than 20 Mesonet sites are operational statewide collecting real-time weather and climate data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction. Data is packaged into observations every five minutes and transmitted to the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU every 15 minutes, 24 hours per day, throughout the year.

The data is available online and the website includes a “Live Graphs” feature that allows users to visualize weather/climate data collected in a 24-hour period.

The Mesonet project’s goal is to develop a statewide automated environmental monitoring network of approximately 100 stations that will collect data and support a variety of products to serve needs across Kentucky, including agriculture, education, emergency management, engineering and construction, water supply management and weather forecasting.

Since the Mesonet’s first station at the WKU farm in Warren County became operational in May 2007, more than 20 stations have been installed and plans for expanding the network are progressing. The McLean and Carroll county stations will join a network that includes stations in Logan, Rowan, Calloway, Casey, Ohio, Adair, Bullitt, Fayette, Grayson, Allen, Caldwell, Knox, Christian, Franklin, Hopkins, Jackson, Owen, Lincoln and Breathitt counties.

Initial funding for the project was secured by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell through a $1.5 million federal earmark for the Kentucky Climate Center, part of WKU’s Applied Research and Technology Program in the Ogden College of Science and Engineering.

Contact: Stuart Foster at (270) 745-5983.

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