LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus has installed a weather station on campus as part of the Pennsylvania Environmental Monitoring Network, which includes 20 similar systems across the commonwealth.
The project, which began development in 2017, is funded by the Penn State Office of the Vice President for Research, the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
“Data [collected by the Pennsylvania Environmental Monitoring Network] will fill gaps in our knowledge of current weather and water conditions in Pennsylvania to help make agricultural producers more efficient, provide for public safety, improve water quality and enhance education and research at Penn State and across the commonwealth,” said Scott Richardson, research professor in Penn State’s Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science.
Richardson is responsible for the installation of weather stations across the state. Lead investigators of the project include David Stensrud, head of Penn State’s Department of Meteorology; and Paul Heinemann, professor of agricultural and biological engineering. Kyle Imhoff, assistant research professor, has also provided critical support.
Each weather station provides real-time measurements of temperature, humidity, precipitation, dewpoint, wind direction and speed, wind gust, solar radiation, soil temperature, soil moisture and more.
Ongoing maintenance and servicing of the weather station will be provided by Penn State staff and funded by Pennsylvania Environmental Monitoring Network with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Mesonet Program.
“The data are freely available and already being used by the National Weather Service and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency,” added Richardson. “These real-time observations can be used in the classroom as a rich data set for analysis, to monitor current weather conditions for campus safety and in research activities.”
Weather-related data will also assist the agricultural community in making informed decisions about when to plant, irrigate and apply pesticides.
To access the weather station, visit https://keystone-mesonet.org/. The Pennsylvania Environmental Monitoring Network camera dashboard is available at http://climate.met.psu.edu/features/pemn_images/.