A group of representatives from two National Weather Service offices in Kentucky (Louisville, Jackson) teamed up with Dr. Stuart Foster (State Climatologist/Western Kentucky University) to promote the Kentucky Mesonet at the 31st annual Kentucky County Judge Executive Association (KCJEA) conference in Lexington. Dr. Foster introduced the Kentucky Mesonet to the group of about 200-250 county judge executives and magistrates, highlighting the importance of a dense network of high quality data, and its value to the community. Meteorologists in Charge, John Gordon (Louisville NWS office) and Shawn Harley (Jackson NWS office) then followed Dr. Foster's presentation with several examples of how the Kentucky Mesonet helps with the specific National Weather Service goals of protecting lives and property. The two meteorologists used several examples from high wind, flooding, winter, and temperature events from recent years to highlight how the mesonet data is critical when it comes to getting information to the public. Along with showing how these data are used before, during, and after weather events, their presentation highlighted just how many customers other than the NWS use this data.
Below: Dr. Stuart Foster demonstrates how the Kentucky Mesonet stations are carefully sited so that the temperature, dew point, wind, and precipitation data can be at its highest quality.
Below: Meteorologist in Charge John Gordon shows a glimpse of the the High Wind tracking table, and its benefits during the numerous windy events that the Ohio Valley receives.
Below: Meteorologist in Charge Shawn Harley discusses how the complex terrain of eastern Kentucky creates highly difficult temperature forecasts, along with an enhanced flash flooding threat. The Kentucky Mesonet provides the timeliness of observations and coverage necessary for forecasters to meet this challenge.