A growing network of weather stations, across Kentucky is helping forecasters better predict the weather.
“We currently have 68 stations operating in 66 counties across the state,” says state climatologist, Stuart Foster.
Each station costs thousands of dollars and provides critical weather information.
“It provides us a way to collect accurate, local, real-time data, about what’s happening in the environment for the benefit of the people all across Kentucky,” he said.
Each weather station contains a variety of weather instruments.
“Automated stations that collect weather observations, every five minutes, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year” says Foster.
You and your family can access the information, for free, via the Kentucky Mesonet website.
“Even if the average citizen is not looking at the Mesonet every day, that network out there is still working in their benefit, as weather forecasters are using that to help know when to issue warnings for their areas,” said Foster.
For the past ten years, this network of weather stations has provided Foster and his team with some unique weather data.
“One thing we recorded was a 101 mile an hour wind gust at Murray,” he said.
The ultimate goal is to take the network beyond the Commonwealth.
“If we can work with some of our partners across the river, provide some stations and/or partner with their existing network, then we can provide a better service, not just in their state,” says Foster.
Foster would like to expand the network in the western part of Kentucky. If you would like to help, contact the Kentucky Climate Center at Western Kentucky University.