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Kentucky Mesonet at WKU adds 2nd station in Shelby County

The Kentucky Mesonet at WKU has installed a second station in Shelby County.

The site in northern Shelby County is the 68th station in 66 counties for the statewide network that is the Commonwealth’s official source for weather and climate data. The station is the third funded and supported through local partnership efforts.

“We have worked very closely with local officials in Shelby County and are excited to have this partnership going forward,” said Dr. Stuart Foster, state climatologist and director of the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU. “This is the tiered-partnership model we envision for the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU with local support to complement state funding and federal grants we are able to secure.”

The other station in Shelby County is located in the southwest portion of the county.

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

“This new site, located on private farmland, truly is one of the premier sites in our network in terms of providing quality environmental exposure for our instruments and will provide valuable data for the Shelby County area,” Dr. Foster said.

The Mesonet, which is housed at the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU, is the only network of its kind in the Commonwealth. The 2016-2018 budget approved earlier this year by the General Assembly includes $750,000 a year for the Mesonet, but Dr. Foster and others continue their work to develop local partnerships across Kentucky to expand and maintain the network.

Discussions are under way with groups in two more counties on agreements to install stations, he said.

About the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU: The statewide network includes stations in Adair, Allen, Barren, Bath, Boone, Boyle, Breathitt, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carroll, Casey, Christian, Clark, Clinton, Crittenden, Cumberland, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Graves, Grayson, Hardin, Harlan, Harrison, Hart, Henderson, Hopkins, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, LaRue, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McLean, McCreary, Meade, Mercer, Metcalfe, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Pike, Rowan, Shelby, Simpson, Taylor, Todd, Trigg, Union and Warren counties. State Climatologist Stuart Foster is director of the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU and the Kentucky Climate Center. Dr. Rezaul Mahmood, professor of Geography and Geology, is associate director of the Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center. The project was initially funded with a $2.9 million federal grant for the Kentucky Climate Center, part of WKU’s Applied Research and Technology Program. The first station was installed at the WKU Farm in May 2007. In recent years, Dr. Foster and others have been working to build a broad base of support across Kentucky to continue development and maintenance of the network. The 2016-2018 budget approved by the General Assembly includes $750,000 a year for the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU.

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

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