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Mesonet adds station in Pike County

The Kentucky Mesonet is expanding its weather and climate monitoring network to Pike County.

A Mesonet station has been installed at a Kentucky Educational Television transmission tower near Dorton in southern Pike County.

“This station is a high elevation site that should help us to identify some more extreme weather conditions, including wind speeds,” said Dr. Stuart Foster, director of the Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU. “We worked closely with Doug Tackett, the emergency manager for Pike County, to identify the site. We are pleased to be partnering with both KET and Pike County emergency management on this site.”

Since the Mesonet’s first station at the WKU farm in Warren County became operational in May 2007, 51 stations have been installed toward a goal of 100 stations statewide.

The Mesonet 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 data from the statewide automated environmental monitoring network assist National Weather Service meteorologists in producing forecasts and severe weather warnings and provide benefits to a wide range of interests in the local areas, including agriculture, education, emergency management, energy, engineering and construction, recreation, transportation and water supply management.

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, McLean, McCreary, Mercer, Metcalfe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Owen, Owsley, Pike, Rowan, Taylor, Trigg, Union and Warren counties.

Work is continuing on station sites in Bath, Hart, Lawrence, Marion, Muhlenberg, Oldham and Shelby counties. Mesonet officials are actively pursuing sites in about 15 other counties, including Carter, Harlan, Meade, Pendleton, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Simpson and Todd.

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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