Personal weather stations have helped numerous meteorologists provide more accurate forecasts for the public. Here at the National Weather Service in Louisville, we would like to increase the number of stations so that we can better recognize weather conditions in the county warning area. With the support, your weather data could contribute to the forecasting process done by the National Weather Service and local television meteorologists.
Check out the screen capture below - the dots represent weather stations that are sending data into the MADIS data stream. In fact, most of these are private weather stations! (Image is courtesy of MADIS). Notice that in Southern Indiana and Central Kentuky, the dots are few and far between. If you wish to access this display, just follow the link above!
Posting your data online is relatively quick and simple if you own a weather station that is capable of interfacing with a computer. If your weather station and accompanying computer software has this function (check the instruction manuals), and you have a dependable connection to the Internet, read on for more information on how you can send your data out to the world!
The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a private-public partnership with three main goals: 1) to collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their data quality.
The number of CWOP stations in North America is more than 6,000 and growing. CWOP members send their weather data to special computer servers called MADIS. Every 15 minutes, the entire dataset is sent from these servers to a NWS server and is checked for quality and accuracy. Almost immediately, the dataset is then redistributed and made available to the NWS and television meteorologists for use in forecasts and situational awareness. There are over 800 different user organizations that benefit from the mesonet data.
If you are interested in your data playing a role in the overall NWS watch/warning/forecast process, or being used by your local television meteorologist in their forecast process/current condition presentation, then navigate to the CWOP link above and become a member of CWOP. Read and follow the instructions to become a CWOP member, as well as for your weather station and weather software. Once you acquire CWOP identification (ID), set up your weather software/station to send your data! This is usually a relatively simple and quick setup.
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