High Plains Regional Climate Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology , September 2019, Vol. 36, No. 9

DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-18-0198.1


Copyright 2019 American Meteorological Society. Used by permission.


The Kentucky Mesonet is a research-grade weather and climate observing network with redundant sensors that monitors the near-surface atmosphere at 71 locations across Kentucky. The network measures temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, relative humidity, barometric pressure, and wind speed and direction every 5 min, with soil moisture and soil temperature measured every 30 min. In addition, it operates a camera at selected locations. All observations are transmitted via cellular modem every 5 min and become available to the general public through the World Wide Web within seconds after arrival at Kentucky Mesonet’s Network Operations Center. In between arriving at the IT division and dissemination to general public, the data also go through automated data quality assurance (QA) procedures. Within that time, the data can be viewed through various graphical/visualization formats, developed based on feedback from the user community. The Kentucky Mesonet produces twice-dailyQAreports and its technicians respond to these reports, making site visits when necessary to address issues. Mesonet technicians make regular site visits to all stations during spring, summer, and fall seasons. The network maintains a detailed database of station metadata that includes instrument and site maintenance history. The Mesonet delivers the data to the National Weather Service to aid forecasting. It also works closely with a variety of local, state, and federal entities so that the network can meet diverse needs.