ALBANY — Researchers at the New York State Mesonet are partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on a new project that aims to enhance winter storm observations using the network’s real-time data.
The NYS Mesonet, headquartered at the University at Albany, is an advanced weather network that features 126 standard observation stations located throughout the state. The stations are spaced within 20 miles of each other, including at least one in every county and borough. Each offers continuous updates of various localized weather variables with updates every five minutes and real-time camera images.
This new project will demonstrate quantitatively, at a statewide level, how local winter weather operations can be improved using NYS Mesonet measurements, including snow depth, snowfall rates and accumulation, snow water equivalent, freezing rain and precipitation type.
It will also produce a new suite of customizable weather products that can improve situational awareness and prediction lead times around winter storms.
NOAA is providing $600,000 in support over the next two years.
“Winter storms are among the most impactful weather events, but remain difficult to monitor and predict,” said Jerry Brotzge, NYS Mesonet project manager and the project’s principal investigator. “This project builds on our prior work to transform largely experimental data and associated variables into trustworthy, reliable products for use in NOAA’s winter weather operations and by other industry partners.”
“Winter weather observational products, which are critical for situational awareness and public warning, are still largely experimental and not readily available,” added June Wang, a research associate professor in UAlbany’s Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences and the NYS Mesonet quality assurance manager. “We are excited to work with NOAA to formally evaluate and refine the use of our measurements for this application.”