TOMPKINSVILLE — Monroe County will be getting a Kentucky Mesonet weather station soon, thanks to action taken by the Tompkinsville City Commission.
The city commission voted to spend up to $25,000 for the weather station, which will be located on Geoff Pare's farm near Gamaliel in the southern portion of the county.
“That was the best spot that we found that runs off AT&T phone service,” said Tompkinsville Mayor Scotty Turner.
Kentucky Mesonet is a network of automated weather stations being developed by the Kentucky Climate Center at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. The weather stations track real-time wind gusts, temperature, humidity levels and precipitation.
Turner worked with Dr. Stuart Foster, who is the director of the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU and the state climatologist, in locating a site for the weather station.
“He came down and we looked at the map and we picked out three sites and we went to those locations,” Turner said.
Of the three, the one on Pare's farm was deemed to be the best.
There are currently 68 Kentucky Mesonet weather stations. The one that will be installed on Pare's farm will be the 69th Kentucky Mesonet weather station.
“We have been working together for quite a while to find a way to bring Kentucky Mesonet to Monroe County,” Foster said. “It's an area where we have not had coverage in the past.”
Foster hopes to start work on the weather station this spring.
Having a Kentucky Mesonet weather station will prove to be valuable to Monroe County, as well as to surrounding counties, he said.
“The data we collect will not only be available through our public website, but the data will also go to the National Weather Service in Louisville and it will be a huge help to the forecasters there who have the task and challenge of not just providing a daily weather forecast but determining when to issue severe weather and winter weather warnings for Monroe County,” Foster said.