In recent years the western United States has gone from being a region with relatively sparse surface observations to one that has a number of mesoscale networks maintained by a variety of interests. Expanding population and increased agricultural activity have spawned a greater appreciation for meteorological measurements in this region. Yet the meteorological community is not generally aware of these data sources, and some potential research uses for the data are not realized. A survey of these mesonets is presented to illustrate the number of stations and the variations in their characteristics. Even though the networks have been set up by different agencies, there is very little overlap in their locations. Some areas in the region, however, are still lacking an abundance of surface data. Information sources for the networks are provided so that readers can obtain additional information. It can be difficult to work with data from several different sources. Nonetheless, it is recommended that the meteorological implications of these data be further explored. Additional efforts are also needed to establish standards for surface observations so that the data collected by various sources will be more uniform.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jul 20, 1997
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