83rd Annual

Monday, 10 February 2003
Methodology for design of a Mississippi Mesonet
Loren D. White, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
The planning stages for development of a statewide meteorological mesonet within Mississippi will be discussed. While the eventual objective is to provide reliable description of surface conditions throughout the state with high temporal resolution, the network will necessarily be built in stages. Attention is being put on an initial startup phase that will provide the greatest improvement over the currently available data. Significant educational use of the mesonet is envisioned at Jackson State University and other educational institutions in Mississippi. In addition, a wide array of stakeholders (both public and private) will be involved with the mesonet development process.

Locations of all current observing stations with data available in near-real time (i.e. within 24 hr) have been plotted with 32 km proximity circles in order to easily identify regions of highest priority for "filling the gaps". Long-term goals would dictate that no location in the state be more than 32 km from a station. Additional goals are for each county to have at least one station, with those counties more than twice the size of the smallest county having two stations. Approximately five stations would be reserved for temporary "micronet" deployment in areas of special interest.

Documentation of public lands and local public or private partners is being done on a county by county basis from a variety of sources. Once the general locations desired for stations have been identified, potential sites will be identified based on examination of local topographic maps. The potential representativeness of specific sites will evaluated based on high resolution infrared satellite imagery (for local skin temperature patterns) and several mesoscale model runs. Typical and extreme days will be simulated with MM5 at 1.1 km resolution to compare conditions at the proposed sites to means over the surrounding area.

The temporary micronet studies will also be useful in addressing representativeness issues. Particular concerns are effects of nearby water bodies, siting within heavily forested areas, urban heat islands, transition between the Delta and loess hills, and inland penetration of the Gulf of Mexico sea breeze.

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