92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 10:30 AM
Kentucky Mesonet: An Overview and Update
Room 239 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Rezaul Mahmood, Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green, KY; and S. Foster

Weather and climate are fundamental to the health, safety, and welfare of residents and communities throughout Kentucky. The availability of continuously updated, locally accurate environmental data across the state is vital to decision makers who must be prepared to respond to changing conditions. To address these challenges, the Kentucky Climate Center (KCC), a member of the National Climate Services Partnership, has created the Kentucky Mesonet (www.kymesonet.org). This is a research grade meso-scale network of automated weather and climate monitoring stations for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The network is currently consists of 58 premium quality stations with redundant sensors. The total number of station could be 62 by the end of the year.

The network collects temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and wind direction data every five minutes and distributes quality assured/quality (QA/QC) controlled data every 15-minute through the World Wide Web. We also plan to add soil moisture and soil temperature sensors at five depths following CRN criteria. The network applies both automated and manual QA/QC procedures. These procedures were developed based on ‘best industry practices' and approaches recommended in highly respected scientific literature. The mesonet also archives collected data accompanied by detailed metadata. The data collected by the network aid forecasters, first responders, decision makers, researchers, and other users, and helping to establish a detailed record of Kentucky's dynamic environment for future generations. Mesonet data is widely available and contributes to a range of benefits for the people of Kentucky. In addition, the Kentucky Mesonet freely provides data to the National Weather Service (NWS) and Kentucky Event Analysis and Mapping Portal (KEMAP) at a near real-time schedule. The latter is operated by the Governor's Office of Technology and it distributes mesonet data to variety of state agencies through cell-phone. Local TV stations also receive the Mesonet data free of charge.

The network has a two way communication system that permits its staff to communicate with the stations whenever necessary. To ensure the highest quality of data, the mesonet conducts in-house testing and calibration of instruments and subsequent installation and maintenance of stations. An extensive database has been created to track each individual instrument. The network technicians make site visits whenever QA/QC specialist issues maintenance tickets. In addition, technicians make three scheduled site visits every year. Our short- and long-term goal is to continue to maintain this research grade infrastructure for the highest quality meteorological and climatological data collection, distribution, and decision tool development and expand the Kentucky Mesonet to a 100 station network.

Supplementary URL: