The statewide weather and climate monitoring network Kentucky Mesonet has installed its 69th station, which is in a high-risk area for tornadoes.
The new Mesonet station is near Tompkinsville in Monroe County in south central Kentucky.
Patrick Collins is the Mesonet systems meteorologist. He says the real-time data collected at the Monroe County site is important because the area, which is just a couple of miles from the Tennessee border, is prone to tornadoes.
"Because it’s not near one of the radars, it doesn’t have very good coverage, and so having a weather station there adds benefits for the county as far as alerts and warnings, and then the data being processed through the National Weather Service.”
Collins says the data collected at the new station will provide additional information to forecasters.
“The temperature, relative humidity, winds, a lot of everything we measure goes into the ability to forecast for tornadoes.”
Soil sensors will be added at the Monroe County site this week. The data on soil temperature and moisture is valuable to farmers.
In eastern Kentucky, the Mesonet station in Pike County had its precipitation monitoring and power systems upgraded this week, as well the addition of a camera to monitor conditions like snowfall and fog. That upgrade is a collaboration with Pike County Emergency Management.
Mesonet stations collect real-time data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed and direction. The data is transmitted to the Kentucky Climate Center at Western Kentucky University every five minutes, 24 hours a day, throughout the year. The data is available online at www.kymesonet.org