Governor Cuomo Announces Construction Approval for Mesonet Early Warning Weather Detection System

July 20, 2015

From the Office of Governor Cuomo

Real-Time, Advanced Weather Detection Data will Support Emergency Management, Research, and Condition-Dependent Industries in New York Stat

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the approval of the first set of sites for New York State’s mesonet early warning weather detection system. A total of 19 sites located across the state are the first stations that will be part of a 125-site interconnected weather system. The system provides state-of-the-art, real-time weather condition data to support emergency management, research, and condition-dependent industries vital to New York’s economy, such as agriculture and energy production.

“Extreme weather has impacted communities across our state in recent years, and today we are actively preparing for whatever Mother Nature brings,” said Governor Cuomo. “The Mesonet system is part of how our administration is moving forward with future storms in mind, and I am proud to see this important milestone reached. We will continue building New York State back smarter and stronger in order to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Mesonet’s sophisticated stations provide localized, accurate, and timely data on air, wind, soil, and radiation conditions. Each mesonet station houses a suite of automated sensors, sampling data every three to thirty seconds. Data is then packaged into 5 minute averages, and then transmitted in real-time to a central facility located at the University at Albany. While at the University at Albany, data from all sites are quality-controlled and processed into files to be disseminated, including to National Weather Service and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The New York State mesonet complements the existing National Weather Service system of 27 automated stations by expanding the number of sites currently available to collect weather data and increasing the frequency of reports available across New York. New York is the seventh state in the nation to install a mesonet system, and is the first to include a “vertical profiler” feature that provides more comprehensive temperature, wind and moisture information to further improve weather monitoring and prediction.

Mesonet's 125 station sites will be identified and operational by 2016. More information about New York State’s mesonet early warning detection system is available at http://nysmesonet.org.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration has granted the construction and installation of mesonet weather stations in the first set of 19 locations below. A map of the locations is available here.

County

Site Name

Property Name

Columbia Valatie Research Farm Valatie Research Farm
Erie SUNY Buffalo SUNY Buffalo
Essex Whiteface Mountain Base ASRC Research Facility
Herkimer Cold Brook Homestead Farm
Montgomery Fulton-Montgomery Community College Fulton-Montgomery Community College
Montgomery Sprakers Mead Farm
New York Governor’s Island Governor’s Island
Oneida Westmoreland Elliot Farm
Oswego SUNY Oswego SUNY Oswego
Otsego Laurens Leahy Farm
Rockland SUNY Rockland SUNY Rockland
St. Lawrence SUNY Potsdam SUNY Potsdam
Saratoga Schuylerville Lock C-5
Schoharie SUNY Cobleskill SUNY Cobleskill
Suffolk SUNY Stony Brook SUNY Stony Brook
Tioga Berkshire  
Warren Chestertown Starbuck Property
Washington Whitehall Lock C-11
Ulster Woodstock Stang Farms

DHSES Commissioner John P. Melville said, “The mesonet system is critical to early warning and response in the event of a weather emergency or disaster, and will give first responders and emergency managers more resources than ever before to help communities in the path of severe weather. I am pleased that the project is moving forward, and I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s leadership in putting the health and safety of New Yorkers first by implementing the nation’s most advanced weather detection system.”

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “By establishing a New York State mesonet, Governor Cuomo has positioned New York State to lead the nation in the preparation for and recovery from weather-related incidents, and SUNY is proud to serve as a primary partner in this important venture. Under the leadership of the University at Albany, SUNY colleges and universities in every region stand ready to implement the Governor’s vision for the advancement of our weather forecasting and reporting technologies to ensure that New York’s citizens and communities can be warned of incoming severe weather and better prepared to manage its effects.”

Congresswoman Lowey said, “Making quick and accurate decisions during severe weather events can mean the difference between life and death. With a brutally cold winter and Hurricane Sandy still fresh in the minds of many New Yorkers, I’m pleased that FEMA has approved construction of this early warning weather detection system that allows for localized reporting at quicker intervals. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working with Governor Cuomo and local officials to help ensure the New York is prepared to handle the next major storm.”

Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, “Our ability to detect approaching severe weather early and with a high degree of accuracy adds a tremendous advantage in responding quickly and efficiently going forward. With the Federal Emergency Management Agency constructing this advanced early warning system, New York state and local emergency response teams will be in a better position to save lives and property. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership in making all New Yorkers safer and better prepared when facing extreme weather and natural disasters in the future.”

Congressman Paul Tonko said, “This early warning system, along with other planned stations across the state, will create a web of detection that will enhance public safety and help us to take a more proactive approach to the way we respond to severe weather threats. I thank Governor Cuomo for improving our mitigation efforts and I look forward to working with his office to ensure funds are secured and used responsibly to protect lives and property in our communities. ”

Congressman Richard Hanna said, "I am pleased that our first responders and our residents will have all the resources possible to alert them when severe weather and flooding is on the way. Upstate New York has seen intense flooding over the past few years and this will be one extra measure to help keep our neighbors safe."

Governor Cuomo announced the creation of the mesonet system in January 2014 with Vice President Joseph Biden. The project, entirely paid for through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, will cost approximately $23.6 million. These FEMA grants are intended for projects that better protect life and property and enhance preparedness efforts in the event of future disasters.

About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
DHSES and its four offices – Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications – provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow@NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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