West Texas Mesonet Network Opens Station #100
(Above) - The large group of officials who marked the occasion of the opening of the 100th station of the West Texas Mesonet network, part of the National Wind Institute at TTU. (L-R) Glenn Allen (NWI), Lee Wilkes (NWI), Joe Jurecka (NWS Lubbock), John Lipe (NMS Lubbock), Bruce Haynie (NWS Lubbock), Dr. John Schroeder (TTU-Geosciences), Brian Smith (NWI External Advisory Board), Wes Burgett (West Texas Mesonet Network Manager), Bob Myer (NWI External Advisory Board), Dr. Daan Liang (NWI Interim Director), John Holsenbeck (NWS Lubbock), Dr. Brian Hirth (TTU-Geosciences), Gid Moore (Moore Crop Insurance Agency and landowner), Dr. Anna Thomas Young (NWI Managing Director), and Jeff Livingston (NWI).
Texas Tech University's West Texas Mesonet network recently celebrated the opening of the 100th station in the widespread collection of meteorological instrumentation platforms that cover a vast part of West and northern Texas, and reaches into both New Mexico and Colorado.
"This has been the culmination of 16 years of work by employees of the former Wind Science and Engineering Center and the National Wind Institute, along with our volunteer mesonet army of National Weather Service employees, landowners and weather enthusiasts," reported Wes Burgett, the West Texas Mesonet network manager.
Wes continues, saying "we continue to make strides toward building the mesonet outward to include portions of the northern Texas Panhandle and southern Permian Basin in an attempt to have a mesonet station spaced every 30 miles in the region."
Currently, the wide-ranging instrumentation network has 100 mesonet stations and seven SODAR units in 66 Texas counties and 3 different states.
The WTM provides real-time data including wind speed and direction at different levels, air temperatures at different levels, humidity and dew point, solar radiation, rainfall, barometric pressure and climate histories. Agricultural data include soil temperature and moisture at different levels, leaf wetness and evapotranspiration.
The network plays a critical role in weather forecasting with impacts on leading to safer communities, more effective agricultural planning, and other important aspects of life here on the South Plains. Providing real-time data including wind speed and direction at different levels, each station also measures air temperatures at different levels, humidity and dew point, solar radiation, rainfall, barometric pressure and climate histories. Agricultural data, important in this rural area, include soil temperature and moisture at different levels, leaf wetness and evapotranspiration.
SOnic Detection and Ranging (SODAR) units have been integrated with WTM to provide elevated measurements for high-resolution, short-term ensemble wind forecasts. SODAR is an acoustic radar used to evaluate low-level atmospheric stability and wind characteristics.
Click for more information on the NWI's regional SODAR network.
Click here for the WTM SODAR map.
Visit the West Texas Mesonet official website.