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Mesonet continues to expand network

The Kentucky Mesonet is continuing to expand its weather and climate monitoring network.

Kentucky Mesonet logoMesonet technicians are installing the network’s 54th station this week in Hart County and as weather conditions improve they hope to wrap up installation soon on the 55th station in Lawrence County.

Mesonet officials also recently signed their 59th site license agreement for a station in Meade County.

“These new 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,” said Dr. Stuart Foster, director of the Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU.

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 Mesonet’s first station at the WKU farm in Warren County became operational in May 2007; the project’s goal is a network of 100 stations statewide.

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, Hart, Henderson, Hopkins, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Madison, Marshall, Mason, McLean, McCreary, Mercer, Metcalfe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Pike, Rowan, Shelby, Taylor, Trigg, Union and Warren counties.

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