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50th Mesonet station being installed

The 50th station in the Kentucky Mesonet’s weather and climate monitoring network is being installed at the Stearns Ranger Station on U.S. 27 near Whitley City in McCreary County.

“We are extremely pleased to have a station in McCreary County as part of the Kentucky Mesonet,” said Dr. Stuart Foster, director of the Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU. “This site 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.”

The stations collect real-time weather and climate data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction. Data is packaged into observations and transmitted to the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU every five minutes, 24 hours per day, throughout the year and is available online at www.kymesonet.org.

The Mesonet’s first station at the WKU farm in Warren County became operational in May 2007.

The statewide automated environmental monitoring network supports a variety of needs across Kentucky in agriculture, education, emergency management, energy, engineering and construction, recreation, transportation, water supply management and weather forecasting.

Stations are located in Adair, Allen, Barren, Boone, Breathitt, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carroll, Casey, Christian, Clark, Clinton, Crittenden, Cumberland, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Graves, Grayson, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Madison, Marshall, Mason, McCreary, McLean, Mercer, Metcalfe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Owen, Owsley, Rowan, Taylor, Trigg, Union and Warren counties.

Site license agreements have been reached in Lawrence, Marion, Muhlenberg and Pike counties. Installation of a foundation for the Pike County station began this week.

Mesonet officials are actively pursuing sites in about 20 other counties, including Bath, Bell, Carter, Clay, Harlan, Hart, Pendleton, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle and Todd.

About the Kentucky Mesonet: State Climatologist Stuart Foster is director of the Kentucky Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center. Dr. Rezaul Mahmood, associate professor of Geography and Geology, is associate director of the Kentucky Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center. The Kentucky Mesonet staff includes meteorologists and staff with expertise in instrumentation, information technology, quality assurance, and education outreach.  The Kentucky Mesonet also provides opportunities for WKU student employees and interns to work side-by-side with professional staff.

Initial funding for the project was secured by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell through a $2.9 million federal appropriation 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, (270) 745-5983.

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