New weather station in Lawrence County
MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – Missouri’s newest automated real-time weather station recently went online at the Southwest Research Center, near Mount Vernon in Lawrence County. University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program operates a network of 31 stations across the state, said Pat Guinan, MU Extension climatologist.
The weather station measures variables such as air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, soil temperature and precipitation.
The agriculture community depends on weather information, using data such as real-time wind speed and wind direction to make spraying and chemical application decisions. Data also helps determine irrigation and planting schedules.
The National Weather Service and other agencies also use station data for numerous meteorological, agricultural and hydrological research projects.
The Mount Vernon station is one of 21 stations in the 31-station network that provide real-time data. Advances in wireless communication and grant funds make it possible these stations to report weather conditions every five minutes over the Internet.
The Missouri network, called a “mesonet” by meteorologists, was established in 1992 with four automated weather stations. Hardware and sensors including 3-meter towers and data loggers make up the station. Some stations have extra sensors to report fuel moisture (an indicator of wildfire risk), leaf wetness and barometric pressure.
Go to www.climate.missouri.edu for more information from the Missouri Climate Center. The center is part of MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
Data from each of the weather stations is available at www.agebb.missouri.edu/weather/stations. For real-time information from the Mount Vernon area, go to www.agebb.missouri.edu/weather/realtime/mtvernon.asp.