Maryland will build 75 weather towers to improve data collection and warnings

Photo by Lukas Pohlreich/Flickr Creative Commons.

Maryland will build 75 weather observation towers across the state to collect weather data faster and more accurately and improve disaster response, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.

The state partnered with the University of Maryland to build and operate the network of towers, called Maryland Mesonet, with a commitment of $4 million in public funds.

Maryland Mesonet will be “a world-class network of state-of-the-art environmental monitoring stations to provide real-time data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year,” Hogan said in a statement.

He added that “the ambitious project … will give our emergency managers even faster and more accurate satellite data to make critical decisions about preparedness and resource deployment.”

National and local emergency management officials will be able to access the tower’s network to receive data and analytics that will help them improve public safety, minimize risk to their communities, and apply for disaster relief programs. of disaster.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also be able to collect high-resolution weather observations from the Maryland Mesonet to better inform regional weather forecasts and protect communities.

“We are proud that the Maryland Mesonet is expanding the University of Maryland’s deep commitment to serving our state,” UMD President Darryll J. Pines said in a statement. “Weather is increasingly difficult to predict, and our scientists will play a leading role in providing high-resolution atmospheric data to NOAA to improve regional weather forecasts. We will also work to inform local decision makers who can better protect Marylanders and their businesses.

“Mesonet” refers to a “mesoscale network”, a group of stations used to monitor and collect data on weather events.

Maryland Mesonet will help develop applications based on mesonet data for state and local agencies, the [National Weather Service]Maryland’s school systems, farmers, fishers, water managers, air quality monitors, wind and solar power producers, transportation professionals and the media,” said officials. state officials.

Maryland Department of Emergency Management Secretary Russ Strickland said the network will allow officials to warn residents of extreme weather events more in advance.

“This partnership means Maryland residents and visitors will receive better forecasts and faster lead times for severe weather warnings, such as severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash floods,” Strickland said in a statement. “Through continuous monitoring, threshold alerts, instant verification, and post-event analysis, the Maryland Mesonet will provide more data to our emergency management team to continually improve planning and processes, and establish a scorecard. road for a more weather-resistant Maryland.

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