When planning the design and installation of a new mesonet, we use a planning process that has been refined repeatedly over the years and is focused on two factors: the meteorological conditions found in the area and our client’s operational requirements. The first step is always to research the existing observing assets in the area that we can take advantage of – if a high quality, reliable station is already in place, we don’t repeat it, leading to the most cost-effective solution for the customer.
The next step is a thorough meteorological study of the area, reviewing not only the predominant conditions in the area but those that have the most operational impact on the customer. We also look at the meteorological variability of the area – how much do conditions vary over time and from location to location. This allows us to design a sensing strategy that is customized and meteorologically appropriate to the weather conditions and variability, and which often ends up saving money by avoiding the superfluous or redundant stations that can be found in a mesonet that uses a fixed spacing.
This planning process allows us to design a mesonet that is optimized for the customer’s operational objectives and minimized for cost. The most comprehensive example of this is the mesonet installed by WeatherFlow for the Boston Police Department (BPD). When the weather stations installed by another provider failed to operate as advertise, BPD contracted with WeatherFlow to reconstruct a fully operational mesonet. When the meteorological study indicated more variable conditions in the eastern/coastal portion of the region, WeatherFlow was able to deploy more observing assets there, while maintaining sufficient density in the western region with fewer stations.
The operational impact of WeatherFlow’s mesonet is evident in the above graphic, which depicts the anticipated dispersions of a toxic plume when using a) Available public domain weather stations, which results in the basically circular dispersion pattern, versus b) the WeatherFlow-installed mesonet, which results in the more detailed and accurate “anvil” dispersion pattern, in which far more of the toxic substance is deposited in the Northwest suburbs. The impact on emergency management decisions is obvious and gives ride to the WeatherFlow motto of “Better Data. Better Decision.”
To learn more, go to Why Choose a WeatherFlow Mesonet?