An Untapped Mesonet -- Crowdsourcing Private Weather Stations
The use of scripting allows LMRFC staff to quickly and easily gather private weather station data. Programs have also been written to quickly display this data and quality control it against neighboring stations and official networks. Although the initial impetus of this project was to obtain rainfall data, several local NWS weather forecast offices have expressed interest in viewing additional station parameters.
It is important to note that the private weather station networks provide very useful data and the websites are wonderful tools. However, several issues including data format and quality preclude easy use of the information. Despite these issues, with the improved data access through scripting, we have found that private weather stations can be readily viewed as an extended mesonet and the data they provide can be utilized to support both studies of past events and operational forecast operations.