Kentucky Mesonet at WKU identifies site for new station in Nicholas County
- Author: WKU News
- Author: Monday, November 11th, 2019
The Kentucky Mesonet at WKU has selected a site for a new station in Nicholas County.
The county’s first station was installed in March 2010 but was closed in September 2019.
“After an extended period of meetings and conversations with local officials and stakeholders, we are pleased to announce we have identified a new location for a Mesonet station in Nicholas County,” said Dr. Stuart Foster, director of the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU and the Kentucky Climate Center. “There was strong interest expressed to keep a Mesonet station in Nicholas County following the closure of the previous station there.”
The new station will be located near Carlisle on land owned by Reno Runck III. “I recognize the value of the Kentucky Mesonet to the community and am pleased to serve as a site host for a station that will benefit residents of Nicholas County,” Runck said.
The Mesonet stations collect real-time data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, wind speed and direction and transmit it to the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU Operations Center (housed at WKU’s Center for Research and Development) every five minutes, 24 hours per day, throughout the year. The data is available online at www.kymesonet.org.
“Farming is an economic staple and long-lasting tradition in Nicholas County,” said Lindsay Haynes, Nicholas County Extension Agent. “Any tool we can implement to help better equip our agriculture community is a tool we should be interested in. Keeping the Mesonet station in Nicholas County will provide valuable and essential real-time data to our producers. On behalf of Nicholas County Cooperative Extension, I cannot thank the WKU Mesonet team and Mr. Runck enough for their hard work and dedication to this project.”
In addition to the benefits for farmers, Dr. Foster said data from the station will be provided directly to the National Weather Service in Louisville where it will help to inform their decisions regarding when to issue severe weather, flash flood and winter storm warnings for the county.
“Having high quality Kentucky Mesonet data, especially wind gust information in Nicholas County will help National Weather Service offices in Louisville and Jackson provide better warning support for the citizens of northeast Kentucky,” said John Gordon, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service office in Louisville.
The Kentucky Mesonet at WKU has 71 stations in 68 counties and is continuing to develop partnerships and services as the statewide network grows.
“Since the beginning of the Mesonet we have expanded the instrumentation platform to collect a broader array of data in communities where we have strong partnerships,” Dr. Foster said. “We look forward to working with local stakeholders to do the same in Nicholas County.”
Expanded instrumentation has included adding soil moisture and soil temperature probes and monitoring for temperature inversions, which provides important information in support of agriculture and emergency management.
“The Kentucky Mesonet was developed first and foremost as a public safety network as demonstrated through our partnership with the National Weather Service,” Dr. Foster said. “However, the agriculture community has increasingly realized the value of the Mesonet especially as we have expanded the instrumentation platform to provide critical data to support farming operations.”
The new station is expected to become operational in the spring of 2020, but could be completed sooner if conditions permit.
About the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU: The Kentucky Mesonet at WKU is the Commonwealth’s official source for weather and climate data. The statewide network includes 71 stations in 68 counties: Adair, Allen, Barren, Bath, Boone, Boyle, Breathitt, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carroll, Casey, Christian, Clark, Clinton, Crittenden, Cumberland, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Graves, Grayson, Hardin, Harlan, Harrison, Hart, Henderson, Hopkins, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, LaRue, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McLean, McCreary, Meade, Mercer, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Pike, Pulaski, Rowan, Shelby, Simpson, Taylor, Todd, Trigg, Union, Warren and Webster. The Mesonet stations collect real-time data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, wind speed and direction and transmit it to the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU Operations Center (housed at WKU’s Center for Research and Development) every five minutes, 24 hours per day, throughout the year. The data is available online at www.kymesonet.org. State Climatologist Stuart Foster is director of the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU and the Kentucky Climate Center. The project was initially funded with a $2.9 million federal grant for the Kentucky Climate Center, part of WKU’s Applied Research and Technology Program. The first station was installed at the WKU Farm in May 2007. In recent years, Dr. Foster and others have been working to build a broad base of support across Kentucky to continue development and maintenance of the network. The 2018-2020 budget approved by the General Assembly included $750,000 a year for the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU.
Contact: Stuart Foster, (270) 745-5983