3.5 The New York State Mesonet: A Technical Overview

Monday, 11 January 2016: 4:45 PM
Room 245 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Jerald A. Brotzge, SUNY, University at Albany, Albany, NY; and C. Thorncroft and E. Joseph

The New York State (NYS) Mesonet Early Warning Weather Detection System is an advanced, statewide weather station network explicitly designed to enhance local data collection for improved weather monitoring and prediction. The Mesonetwork will consist of 125 surface weather stations with at least one station in every county and borough across the state.

Each of the Mesonet's 125 weather stations will measure surface temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, precipitation, solar radiation, atmospheric pressure, photographic images and soil moisture and temperature at three depths (5, 25, and 50 cm). In addition, seventeen of the sites (known as “enhanced sites”) will be outfitted with lidars and microwave radiometers providing wind, temperature, and moisture profiles in the vertical. Twenty of the sites will measure snow depth and snow water equivalent for hydrological applications, and seventeen of the sites will measure the surface energy budget, including radiation, sensible, latent and ground heat fluxes. All data will be collected every five minutes and then transmitted in real-time to a central location at the University at Albany, where the data will be quality controlled and archived, and then disseminated to a variety of users. Upon completion, real time data along with graphical products will be available to the public via a website (http://nysmesonet.org).

The first Mesonet site was installed in August 2015. Site installations will continue through 2016, with the entire network expected to be completed by December 2016. This weather detection system will provide federal, state, and local communities with access to high-resolution, real-time data for improved public safety and more efficient, weather-sensitive operations. Indeed with the addition of these dense networks of surface and profiling sensors, the NYS Mesonet promises a new generation of local weather observations that will support more accurate, more precise decision-making in agriculture, emergency management, energy, ground transportation and aviation. This presentation provides a general technical overview of the system.

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