The Kentucky Mesonet: Perspectives on data access, distribution, and use for a mesoscale surface network

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Thursday, 21 January 2010: 2:15 PM
B217 (GWCC)
D. Michael Grogan, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY; and S. A. Foster and R. Mahmood

Presentation PDF (2.5 MB)

In a short two-year period, the Kentucky Mesonet has transitioned from a pilot site at Western Kentucky University into a robust, consortium-backed statewide network with data being routinely used for warning, forecast, and research purposes by multiple entities across local, state, and federal domains in both public and private sectors. In that same period, Kentucky Mesonet data usage has matured from simple text on a crude webpage into being an important part of the NWS warning and verification process. Surface data from sites across the commonwealth are now routinely collected and distributed via specialized methods to local NWS forecast offices, regional and national centers, media, and collaborating academic entities in Kentucky and nationwide.

The Kentucky Mesonet has faced many challenges similar to other networks both past and future. With a foundation built on a firm understanding of previous perspectives, Kentucky's mesoscale sensing network has intelligently applied robust siting standards as well as existing and newer technology to meet the challenges of data access, distribution, and use allowing it to perform equally well as both a near-real-time meteorological sensing network and long-term climatological research platform. From the very start, the network has followed best practices for network operations, all of which mesh extremely well with emerging standards for a nationwide Network of Networks.

Based on its important accomplishments over a short time span, the Kentucky Mesonet offers an updated or additional perspective on building a statewide or regional mesoscale sensing network. This presentation will focus on the application of best practices to solve the challenges of data access, distribution, and use and will examine the application of technology to support critical partnerships with external entities. It will also highlight the site selection process, communications infrastructure, quality assurance and metadata methods, and technology implementation in Kentucky.