Plans are on track for a Mesonet weather station to be placed at Northern Middle School. During a groundbreaking ceremony held Tuesday, members of the Pulaski County School District, local leaders, members of the state and local Farm Bureaus and a representative of Western Kentucky University — Mesonet’s originator — gathered to celebrate their partnership of funding and building the weather station.
NMS Principal Daniel Hill said felt this was a great partnership, and the end result would be good for students — “hands-on learning,” as he said.
WKU professor Stu Foster agreed with both beliefs, adding that the partnership among the various organizations was vital in getting the weather tower here.
Pulaski is in the center of a 40-mile radius which doesn’t have any other stations linked to the Mesonet system. In previous weeks, Pierce had called that radius one of the largest “dead zones” in the state in terms of lack of real-time information.
Foster said Mesonet towers feed into National Weather Service offices including the one in Jackson, providing information for weather conditions on the ground as opposed to the radar information that relays what is going on up in the atmosphere.
Information on temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed and other measurements also is uploaded to the Mesonet website, www.kymesonet.org, where it can be accessed by anyone.
Foster said a free mobile app called Kentucky Mesonet has also been created that can be downloaded by users of both iPhones and Android devices.
The initial investment for the project was provided by the City of Somerset, the Pulaski Fiscal Court and Pulaski County Farm Bureau, with matching funds provided by the Kentucky Ag Development Board. The Extension Board is providing the funding for the maintenance, Pierce said. The Pulaski Board of Education is providing the location, and WKU provides the equipment.
Foster said the first steps to placing the station should be completed by the end of June.