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The 75th Kentucky Mesonet station


The Kentucky Mesonet reached a milestone on December 3, 2020 with the installation of its 75th weather and climate monitoring station in Wayne County. The first mesonet station was installed in the spring of 2007 at the Western Kentucky University Farm in Warren County. 

 

The History Of Kentucky Mesonet 


 Initial project funding to develop the Kentucky Mesonet was provided to the Kentucky Climate Center (KCC) at Western Kentucky University through NOAA’s National Weather Service. That funding helped the KCC to construct 65 stations across the state.Subsequently, funding to support operations of the Kentucky Mesonet has been provided by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In turn, those funds have been leveraged through local partnerships to install additional mesonet stations in response to demand in communities across the state. 


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The Kentucky Mesonet’s core mission includes enhancing public safety through partnerships with state and federal agencies. Kentucky Mesonet data are provided directly to the National Weather Service, where they help forecasters make informed decisions regarding when and where to issue warnings for severe thunderstorms, winter storms, and flash flooding. In addition, Mesonet data support the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center at the Boone National Guard Center and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Transportation Operations Center.  

There continues to be a backlog of demand in counties that are not yet served by the Kentucky Mesonet. With funding secured through a public-private partnership, planning is underway for the next Kentucky Mesonet station to be installed in Ballard County in the spring of 2021. Meanwhile, officials in Powell County are pursuing a federal grant to install a station there. Discussions have also begun in with local officials and stakeholders in other counties seeking to bring the Kentucky Mesonet to their communities. 

In addition, the Kentucky Mesonet has become a magnet for investment. The Mesonet qualifies for annual funding through the National Mesonet Program that is invested back out into communities to help maintain the long-term operation of stations. Funding through the National Integrated Drought Information System in coordination with the Midwest Drought Early Warning System leverages the Mesonet to enhance Kentucky’s drought early warning and preparedness efforts. The Mesonet also helped to attract funding from the National Science Foundation as part of a four-year, multi-institutional research project to enhance weather forecasting using big data and machine learning. 

Data collected by mesonet stations are publicly available via the Kentucky Mesonet website, www.kymesonet.org. Users can see current weather conditions across the state, with maps highlighting temperature, precipitation, wind, and a host of other meteorological variables. Historical monthly climatological summaries are also available for each Mesonet station. Users can also generate graphs of Mesonet data and access tables that highlight extreme conditions during active weather events. 

 

Station Installation Timeline Of Kentucky Mesonet 


2007

First Mesonet Station

The first mesonet station was installed in the spring of 2007 at the Western Kentucky University Farm in Warren County

 

5/9: Warren County

6/27: Logan County

7/12: Rowan County

11/6: Calloway County

12/5: Casey County

2011

2012

2013

8/20Warren County

2015

12/10Butler County

2016

8/25: Shelby County

10/27: Boyle County

2017

2018

9/12: Pulaski County

12/12: Shelby County

2020

75th Mesonet Station

installation of the 75th weather and climate monitoring station in Wayne County. 

5/01: Nicholas County

8/17: Wayne County

2021

76th Mesonet Station

Planned for Spring of 2021

 

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The opportunity to work with people and build relationships in communities across the state to build the Kentucky Mesonet has been the highlight of my career.” [Stu Foster, state climatologist and director of the Kentucky Mesonet] 

“The Kentucky Mesonet is a program that benefits people in communities all across the state. Unlike some programs that may be targeted toward certain areas or groups, everyone benefits from the availability of community-based weather data that helps the National Weather Service in its effort to further improve forecasts and warnings when severe weather threatens.” [Stu Foster, state climatologist and director of the Kentucky Mesonet] 

 


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 Last Modified 4/23/21