17th Conference on Applied Climatology


An Overview of the Kentucky Mesonet

Zachary G. Brown, Kentucky Mesonet, Bowling Green, KY; and S. A. Foster, R. Mahmood, S. Struebig, D. Grabowski, M. Grogan, and M. M. Ferris

The Kentucky Mesonet is a high-density network of environmental monitoring stations installed across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The goal is for approximately 100 stations to monitor a full suite of meteorological variables including temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and solar radiation. Soil moisture and temperature probes will also be installed at 50 to 70 sites depending on physiographic limitations. The probes will be installed at five depths up to 1 m below surface. Observations will be made every five minutes with data transmitted via cellular network to Mesonet servers every 15 minutes and available immediately to the public. The Mesonet will serve the residents of Kentucky through collaborations with wide variety of stakeholders including the National Weather Service (NWS), emergency managers, agricultural extension services, water resources managers, and educators across the state. The eight public Universities of Kentucky have formed the Kentucky Mesonet Consortium to leverage the value of the Mesonet for the benefit of the citizens of Kentucky. Open exchange of data for research, outreach, education, and shared technology expertise will expand the scope of the Mesonet to the local-level statewide.

In the second year of the project, site installation is accelerating and information technology infrastructure development is ongoing. Site surveys have been performed from very early in the project and a robust method for determining site quality has been established following World Meteorological Organization standards and the precedent set by other observing networks such CRN, NERON, and the Oklahoma Mesonet. Commencing August 1, 2008, the Kentucky Mesonet will represent the official source of climatological observations for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As such, quality control/quality assurance (QA/QC) is a priority for the project. Methods of QA/QC used and lessons learned in the development of an automated QA/QC system will be presented.

The first Mesonet station was installed in May of 2007 and the current state of the network is ever-expanding. Data is being ingested into a relational database system on an experimental basis. Built from the ground-up to utilize the most current technology, the database system will store both real-time and historical data alongside metadata (data about the data), presenting unique challenges. Security concerns, as well as the choice to use cellular technology will be discussed. Observations are currently available real-time to select NWS forecast offices on their AWIPS workstations and to the public on the web at http://www.kymesonet.org.

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Session 1, Climate Observing Systems I
Monday, 11 August 2008, 9:00 AM-10:00 AM, Harmony AB

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