BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- 125 stations, recording weather data every 5 minutes. Sounds pretty good right? MESONET is coming to New York State and has the potential to aid forecasters and meteorologists alike.
Nick Bassill, Postdoctoral Researcher for New York State MESONET says, “The network is here to save lives and property.”
And it will do just that. But what is it exactly?
Bassill told News 4, “The MESONET in general is a network of observing sites designed to get as much data as fast as possible for the state to help with natural disasters.”
Those natural disasters include everything from high wind events, to flooding, to Buffalo’s favorite….lake effect snow.
The number of observation sites MESONET will add will vastly increase the amount of weather data we are able to collect.
Bassill said, “The National Weather Service has about 27 stations operating in the state of NY. Our standard site will have 125 sites. So obviously many many more. Five or six times as many.”
Each site will be installed with numerous tools to make forecasting mother nature, less of a challenge. In order to do so a lot of space is needed.
Bassill said, “A reasonably open field or spot that is relatively unobstructed, really gives us the best data.”
Although that doesn’t seem like too much to ask for, it is harder to come by than you might imagine. Each site requires a 30 by 30 foot spot. The enhanced sites, like the one coming to Buffalo, requires an even bigger location — 90 by 90 feet.
Because of strict requirements and guidelines the chosen spot for the MESONET weather station will be at the University of Buffalo’s North Campus. This has sparked some controversy among Western New Yorkers since it won’t necessarily make forecasting lake effect snow any easier.
In response to the concerns Bassill had this to say, “There is always a give and take between the best spot for where weather happens and the best spot for where we can get data. We want to take meteorology into account certainly, in terms of things like lake effect snow and flooding concerns. But we also require a good location for the site.”
Across the state many sites have already been installed. Some of the closest include Whitehall, Burt, and Warsaw. If all goes according to plan, all 125 stations will be operational by December 31, 2016.
If you’re interested in learning more about the New York State MESONET initiative, you can find more information on the Found It on 4 section of our website.