J2.3 Building the Georgia Mesonet: A Step Toward the National Cooperative Mesonet

Tuesday, 21 June 2005: 2:00 PM
North & Center Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Pamela N. Knox, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA; and D. E. Stooksbury

The State of Georgia is in the process of developing an automated, real-time, high-quality, high-density weather and climate network, similar to that developed in Oklahoma (Brock et. al. 1995). This network is intended to be implemented as part of the long-term Federal plan for the modernization of the National Weather Service cooperative weather network. In this paper we describe the steps taken to establish the Mesonet.

A consortium of numerous state and federal agencies that currently operate meteorological data collection sites in Georgia was organized and has identified a large number of potential sites for inclusion in the network. To establish an appropriate high-density network, a map containing all known Georgia environmental monitoring sites was prepared. A grid delineating 20-mile-long squares was overlaid on the map and stations within each grid square were identified by sensor type, station history, and owner. A committee of agency representatives worked together to identify the highest quality sites and prioritize them according to initial suitability for a long-term climate monitoring network.

Initial site visits to candidate sites as well as surveys in areas where additional stations are needed for an appropriately dense network have been undertaken in the seven grid squares representing the Atlanta metropolitan area. These sites were surveyed for ease of access to the Law Enforcement Telecommunication System, representativeness of terrain and exposure, and long-term plans for the site. The goal is to establish a stable network of approximately 150 stations across the state within the next two years. The first stations are expected to be in place by mid-summer 2005.

Brock, F.V., K. C. Crawford, R. L. Elliott, G. W. Cuperus, S. J. Stadler, H. L. Johnson, M. D. Eilts, 1995: The Oklahoma Mesonet: A Technical Overview. J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 12, 5-12.

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