By Dennis Brown
The Kentucky Mesonet has expanded its weather
and climate monitoring network to Lewis County.
Workers installed a Mesonet station last week, just off the AA
Highway near the Charters community. The station is on Spence Road near the
location of the old Valley Schoolhouse on property owned by Twin Valley Farms.
A station in Nicholas County was installed a week earlier near
the Nicholas-Bourbon County line on the farm owned by Bob and Carolyn Berrisford.
“We are extremely pleased to have a new stations installed in
two more counties as part of the Kentucky Mesonet,” said Dr. Stuart Foster,
director of the Mesonet and the Kentucky
Climate Center at Western
“These sites will provide valuable data to assist National
Weather Service meteorologists in producing forecasts and severe
weather warnings, and will also provide benefits to a wide range of
interests in the local area,” he added.
During a meeting of Lewis County Fiscal Court last April,
magistrates agreed to provide services in clearing the area the site is located
on and maintaining the site with regular brush removal and trimming.
Since the Mesonet’s first station at the WKU farm in Warren
County became operational in May 2007, 49 stations have now been installed
toward a goal of 100 stations statewide.
The Mesonet stations collect real-time weather
and climate data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, solar
radiation, wind speed and direction.
Data is packaged into observations and transmitted to the
Kentucky Climate Center at WKU every five minutes, 24 hours per day, throughout
the year and is available online at www.kymesonet.org.
Foster said the statewide automated environmental monitoring
network supports a variety of needs across Kentucky in agriculture,
education, emergency management, energy, engineering and construction,
recreation, transportation, water
supply management and weather
Stations are located in Adair, Allen, Barren, Boone, Breathitt,
Breckinridge Bullitt, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carroll, Casey,
Christian, Clark, Clinton, Crittenden, Cumberland, Fayette, Franklin,
Fulton, Graves, Grayson, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Jackson,
Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Madison, Marshall, Mason,
McLean, Mercer, Metcalfe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio,
Owen, Owsley, Rowan, Taylor, Trigg, Union and Warren
Site license agreements have been reached in Marion and Muhlenberg counties
with preferred sites identified in Boyd, Nelson and Shelby
Mesonet officials are actively pursuing sites in about 20 other
counties, including Bath, Bell, Harlan, Lawrence, McCreary, Pendleton, Pike
Foster, a State Climatologist, is director of the Kentucky
Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center. Dr. Rezaul Mahmood, associate
professor of Geography and Geology, is associate director of the Kentucky
Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center.
The Kentucky Mesonet staff includes meteorologists and staff
with expertise in instrumentation, information technology, quality
assurance, and education outreach. The Kentucky Mesonet also provides
opportunities for WKU student employees and interns to work side-by-side
with professional staff.
funding for the project was secured by U.S. Sen.
Mitch McConnell through a $2.9 million federal appropriation for the
Kentucky Climate Center, part of WKU’s Applied Research and Technology
Program in the Ogden College of Science and Engineering.