While weather observation data is increasingly important to situational awareness and forecasting, it has not been feasible for NOAA and other national meteorological agencies around the world to fully meet the exponential increase in demand for data. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of public and private mesoscale observing networks (mesonets) installed to fill in the data gaps between NOAA’s official observing stations. State-sponsored networks like the Oklahoma Mesonet, along with private industrial grade mesonets such as WeatherFlow’s networks are now contributing to significant advances in real-time warning and detection of severe weather. This phenomena is accelerating as additional weather observing networks continue to grow – from industrial grade stations, to light commercial systems such as those often deployed by agricultural firms, and even a dramatic proliferation of affordable home weather stations. In all cases, modern data analysis enables the quality control and value extraction from large amounts of data in a manner that was not possible just a few years ago.
Recognizing that specific applications and users have a need for high quality, high density, and consistent observational data, WeatherFlow operates the largest professional observing network (industrial grade) in the United States, including the only large scale mesonets dedicated specifically to coastal zone and hurricane monitoring. Although we often expand our network to address specific needs, each station and mesonet is designed and operated to support multiple user communities and functions, providing a superior value by allowing the costs of installing and operating the networks to be spread across many customers.