The Kentucky Mesonet dramatically increased data collection at its 68 weather and climate monitoring stations during the solar eclipse.
Melissa Griffin is responsible for data quality for Kentucky Mesonet, which is based at Western Kentucky University. She says the data that came in during the eclipse provides almost a real-time collection of atmospheric conditions.
“The Kentucky Mesonet recorded three-second observations of solar radiation, temperature, wind speed and direction from sunrise to sunset across the entire state of Kentucky. This is something that we have never done before. Typically, the Mesonet is pulling in five-minute observations.”
Griffin says initial analysis has been on temperature.
“We discovered during the path of totality as the solar radiation went to zero, we did observe temperature drops on the order of six-to-ten degrees across the western part of the state, and even in the other portions of the state that did not experience totality, we still saw temperature drops of near five degrees.”
She says the Kentucky data will continue to be analyzed and considered along with information collected by NASA other scientific organizations.