West Texas Mesonet – Texas Tech University www.mesonet.ttu.edu TTU Wind Science & Engineering www.wind.ttu.edu Atmospheric Science Group www.atmo.ttu.edu
INTRODUCTION The West Texas Mesonet project was initiated in 1999 to provide free real-time weather and agricultural information for residents of the South Plains region of western Texas. The network has grown to include fifty-five surface meteorological stations, one radar wind profiler, one acoustic wind profiler, and one upper-air sounding system. Our newest station was just completed near St. Lawrence, Texas. Weather information from each surface station is transmitted every five minutes back to our base station at Reese Center (12 miles west of Lubbock). Agricultural data (including soil temperature and moisture information) are transmitted every fifteen minutes. All real-time data collected from the surface stations are available on our main web page at www.mesonet.ttu.edu. 55 mesonet stations…..in 37 counties…..in two states…..in two time zones……and looking to expand!
West Texas Mesonet – Map 55 Completed Stations – 1/23/2009
Site Photo Memphis 1 mile Northeast Station – Hall County
Site Photo Goodlett 3 miles West Station – Hardeman County
Site Photo Childress 2 miles NNE Station – Childress County
Instrumentation • The following data are collected at each mesonet station every 5 minutes: • 10-meter wind speed and direction (average and 3-second peak wind speed) • 9-meter temperature (for heat flux study) • 2-meter wind speed • 2-meter temperature (for heat flux study) • 1.5-meter temperature and relative humidity (including dewpoint calculation) • barometric pressure (using digital barometer: calculations include station pressure and altimeter) • rainfall (total for the 5-minute period and an hourly summation product) • 2-meter solar radiation (Kipp and Zonen SP-Lite, CM-3, and CM-21; Apogee PYR-P)
Instrumentation • The following data are collected at most mesonet stations every 15 minutes: • Soil Temperature at 5cm (~2 inches) under sod-covered ground • Soil Temperature at 10cm (~4 inches) under sod-covered ground • Soil Temperature at 20cm (~8 inches) under sod-covered ground • Soil Temperature at 5cm (~2 inches) for bare ground • Soil Temperature at 20cm (~8 inches) for bare ground • Soil Moisture at 5cm (~2 inches) (all of these are sod-covered ground) • Soil Moisture at 20cm (~8 inches) • Soil Moisture at 60cm (~24 inches) • Soil Moisture at 75cm (~30 inches) • Leaf Wetness
Communications • Radio: We use an extended line of sight (ELOS) radio system to transmit data packets from our remote stations to our base station at Reese Center. • Cell Phone: Used in remote areas which are generally east of Lubbock. • Landline Phone: Partnership stations with NWS Lubbock. • DSL/Cable modem: Used at a few stations where local city provides internet. • Wireless Internet: Wireless internet at station…all equipment contained at station. • Internet: Spread spectrum radio transmissions from mesonet station to wherever internet is available (e.g., courthouse, school, private residence). Our server is located at that location for internet access.
Power Requirements • All stations use solar panels to charge external batteries. There is no electricity at any station. • Each radio station has one 100-watt radio for communications. The power required to run each radio varies significantly with each site. • Most sites use two 20-watt solar panels to charge two deep-cycle gel type marine batteries. The majority of newer stations use one 50-watt panel. • Several of our major radio repeater stations use two 50-watt solar panels to charge three batteries. • Each datalogger has a backup set of internal batteries to save data in case of a major failure in the marine batteries.
Users: Agriculture Wind Power Industry National Weather Service Media Outlets And Many More…. Real-time Data Access: Real-time mesonet information (data and products) is free to anyone on the web page at www.mesonet.ttu.edu . Average web hits per day: 41,000 For the month of June 2008: 2.1 million hits…71,000 hits/day…38.8 GB bandwidth…9400 unique visitors. Peak one-day total: 156,946 (as of 9/12/2008) Maintenance: Each station is visited every two months to complete routine maintenance. When an instrument fails, we replace it as soon as possible. If a station is not sending quality data, it is not helping anyone. Funding: The funding to maintain the West Texas Mesonet has almost exclusively been provided by Texas Tech University, although we are pursuing other opportunities to support maintenance and continued expansion of the network. Schools Community Leaders Emergency Management General Public Users/Importance
NWS Lubbock Partnership • The West Texas Mesonet and the NWS Lubbock office share a unique relationship. The West Texas Mesonet provides high quality meteorological and agricultural information to a region with otherwise sparse data sources. The NWS Lubbock relays WTM data to the media and surrounding community through warnings, forecasts, local storm statements, and other reports. • The NWS Lubbock, in conjunction with Southern Region Headquarters, helps with the communication costs at many stations in the WTM domain. Currently, there are seven stations on phone lines that would not be sending real-time data without this help. • We look forward to a continuing partnership with the National Weather Service as we expand the West Texas Mesonet into other regions and additional NWS County Warning Areas.
West Texas Mesonet New Products Macy Ranch WTM Station: Double Mountain Fork of The Brazos River in Southwest Garza County…. New Products Coming to the Mesonet Web Page: Heat Units for Different Crops… GIS Plots of Rain, Temperature, And Other Data…
West Texas Mesonet New Products What products do you want to see on the web page???? WTM Station One mile Northwest of Lake Alan Henry In Eastern Garza County
West Texas Mesonet Expansion • Expansion of West Texas Mesonet? • Location • Real-time Communications • Maintenance/Quality Data • Data Access • Other Possibilities? • Integration of New Sensors • Development of New Data Products • Event Notification • Increasing Sampling/Reporting Rates
West Texas MesonetContact Information • Dr. John Schroeder – John.Schroeder@ttu.edu • Wesley Burgett – Wesley.Burgett@ttu.edu • Brian Hirth – Brian.Hirth@ttu.edu www.mesonet.ttu.edu