MesoWest

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MesoWest is an ongoing cooperative project, started in 1996, to provide access to current and archive weather observations across the United States. Weather observations include but are not limited to: temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation. Data are collected from a variety of organizations. Some stations participate in voluntary weather observing networks such as the Citizen Weather Observer Program. Others are part of mesonets[1] that are managed by private firms or federal/state/local agencies. These data are available for a multitude of uses. Over 20,000 weather stations actively report to the MesoWest database.[2]

Parties involved in this project include researchers at the University of Utah, forecasters at the Salt Lake City National Weather Service Office, the National Weather Service Western Region Headquarters,[3] and personnel of participating agencies, universities, and commercial firms. Support for this project is being provided by the National Weather Service.

Mission[edit]

The primary mission of MesoWest is to "promote and support access, storage, and use of weather observations across the nation.”

Access to weather and climate information[edit]

Delivery methods have been designed to satisfy varying needs for weather information visualization. The following is a brief overview of the purpose for each of MesoWest’s available delivery methods:[4]

Current Weather Summary 
Quick and flexible access to current weather conditions in a tabular format. Users are able to view weather conditions locally or at larger scales.
Weather Maps 
Map-based interfaces allow easy access to MesoWest data plotted on surface analyses and/or specialized topographic depictions.
LDM (Local Data Manager) Delivery
Data from MesoWest are disseminated to NWS Forecast Offices via dedicated communication channels for input into AWIPS. Forecasters are able to superimpose mesonet observations onto satellite, radar, and other products. MesoWest data are also available to Universities and government agencies that rely upon the LDM data distribution system.
Website Downloads 
MesoWest data is available for download via the web. Please visit the MesoWest website for more information.

Data Usage and Restrictions[edit]

Usage[edit]

MesoWest is used operationally by the National Weather Service to monitor weather conditions around the country in order to protect lives and property. MesoWest is also used extensively by researchers to understand severe weather events such as winter snow storms,[5][6] damaging winds, and convective weather events. MesoWest surface observations are integrated into high spatial and temporal resolution grid analyses across the United States. The University of Oklahoma Advanced Regional Prediction System Data Analysis System (ADAS) has been configured to run over regions of complex terrain, including 3-dimensional and surface-based analyses.[7] The Utah ADAS relies on MesoWest observations as an important source of local data, modifying initial background fields provided by numerical model analyses.

MesoWest is also available to the educational community for use in the classroom. Students in grades K-12 can observe weather conditions near their school or around the region.

Restrictions[edit]

The data provided to MesoWest arise from cooperative arrangements with many different educational institutions, public agencies and commercial firms. These data are intended to be used by: governmental agencies to protect lives and property, the public for general information, and educational institutions for instructional and research purposes. Any other uses of the data from one or more stations must receive written approval from the agencies that installed the weather sensors.

MesoWest staff[edit]

Person Position
John Horel Overall Coordination
Judy Pechmann Database
Chris Galli Database
Yan Zheng Support
Xia Dong Support
Alex Jacques Support
James Judd Undergrad Support
Zach Hansen Undergrad Support
Matt Lammers Undergrad Support

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horel, J.; M. Splitt; L. Dunn; J. Pechmann; B. White; C. Ciliberti; S. Lazarus; D. Zaff; J. Burks (2002-02-01). "Mesowest: Cooperative Mesonets in the Western United States". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (PDF). 83 (2): 211–225. Bibcode:2002BAMS...83..211H. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(2002)083<0211:MCMITW>2.3.CO;2. 
  2. ^ "MesoWest Station List". 
  3. ^ "Western Region Headquarters". National Weather Service. 
  4. ^ "MesoWest Info". University of Utah. 
  5. ^ Steenburgh, James W. (2003-12-01). "One Hundred Inches in One Hundred Hours: Evolution of a Wasatch Mountain Winter Storm Cycle". Weather and Forecasting. 18 (6): 1018–1036. Bibcode:2003WtFor..18.1018S. doi:10.1175/1520-0434(2003)018<1018:OHIIOH>2.0.CO;2. 
  6. ^ Steenburgh, James W.; Daryl J. Steenburgh (2001-06-01). "Multiscale Analysis of the 7 December 1998 Great Salt Lake–Effect Snowstorm". Monthly Weather Review. 129 (6): 1296–1317. Bibcode:2001MWRv..129.1296S. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2001)129<1296:MAOTDG>2.0.CO;2. 
  7. ^ Lazarus, Steven M.; Carol M. Ciliberti; John D. Horel; Keith A. Brewster (2002-10-01). "Near-Real-Time Applications of a Mesoscale Analysis System to Complex Terrain". Weather and Forecasting. 17 (5): 971–1000. Bibcode:2002WtFor..17..971L. doi:10.1175/1520-0434(2002)017<0971:NRTAOA>2.0.CO;2.