written by Bill Fultz
edited by Christopher Morris
One of Kentucky’s most valuable resources is on the chopping block due to 2018 budget cuts, the Kentucky Mesonet. Developed by Western Kentucky University in 2006, the Mesonet is an automated publicly accessible weather monitoring system with stations located in 69 counties throughout Kentucky. These stations monitor weather every five minutes giving Kentucky meteorologists, as well as regional meteorologists, the most accurate information available to predict rainfall, snowfall, storm conditions, tornados and flash floods. The program also focuses on collecting whether pattern data where you can view past weather totals up to 5 days or by the month.
Outside of what is mentioned above, if the Kentucky Mesonet was to become defunded and disappear, it would be a devastating event for the Kentucky waterfalling community. I personally watch rainfall totals regularly throughout the state and it dictates when and where I go to maximize the beauty of Kentucky’s waterfalls. If this resource is no longer available, localizing the optimum conditions would pretty much a shot in the dark.
I’m sure most of you haven’t used the Mesonet, much less even heard of it, but this is an excellent opportunity for you to become associated with it. So go to www.kymesonet.org. You see a map of Kentucky with a bunch of dots on it. Feel free to explore. The real focus is how does it affect the waterfall community? Across the top of the Mesonet page, you have 5 titles. Click “Applications” on the right, and then click “NWS” in the drop-down, then to the right click “precipitation”. You now have a 5 minute to 5-day rainfall total in 69 counties throughout the state of Kentucky at your disposal. How cool is that?
As far as I know, there is nothing like the Mesonet in the region. What do I mean by region? Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee or Pennsylvania. How can we help? Well, by contacting those who represent us in the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate. Not familiar with who’s your legislator? Click this link: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/ . Click on “Who’s My Legislator?” Fill in the information above the map, and click on “Find My District” to the right and then your district pops up on the map. A pop up will show you your legislators. Then click the link next to Bio Page, and when the new tab pops open click the “Click Here” under “Email Address” fill out the information proceeded by why you don’t want this valuable resource to not be defunded.
Together we can make this happen! All we have to do is make our voices heard! So please, help us in saving The Kentucky Mesonet!