So how do you get your weather data online? The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a private-public partnership with three main goals: 1) collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their data quality.
There are over 7,000 registered CWOP members world wide, including a large number in Kentucky. CWOP members send their weather data to special computer servers (MADIS), and then every 15 minutes, the entire data set is sent from these servers to a NWS server. These data are checked for quality and accuracy and then redistributed to users. The data is available for use by NWS and television meteorologists for use in forecasts and situational awareness almost immediately. There are over 500 different user organizations of mesonet data. To give you some idea of how valuable this data can be, check out this news link from CWOP which details some of the ways CWOP data is being used in extreme weather situations or in other unique ways.
If you are interested in improving weather forecasts, and want your data to play a role in the overall NWS watch/warning/forecast process, or be used by your local television meteorologist in their forecast process and current condition presentation, then navigate to the CWOP webpage, become a CWOP member, and then read and follow the instructions for setting up your weather station and weather software.