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Alabama Mesonet (ALMNet)
Surface In-Situ Networks
Fairly precise information about weather conditions including both soil and atmospheric parameters is very useful to farmers, emergency managements, utility and insurance companies as well as numerous other stakeholders. For example, crops should not be planted where there is insufficient soil moisture for successful germination, emergence and establishment. Likewise, soil temperature information is critical when deciding whether or not to plant hot weather crops such as cotton, which does not tolerate cold soils. Knowledge of atmospheric conditions particularly temperature and humidity is very important in protecting the health of poultry and other livestock. Humidity and wind speed are important factors in hay drying and knowledge of them can affect the timing of harvesting operations. Soil moisture content and rainfall data is also useful to assess water quality, flood and drought occurrence in rural and urban areas. In the last 4 years, Alabama A&M University has installed 11 agricultural weather stations in Alabama and Southern Tennessee and 13 soil profile stations. Most are in the Tennessee valley; however, there is one each at the University of West Alabama, Tuskegee University, and at the Auburn University Horticultural Station at Cullman. Data collected at these stations include soil moisture and temperature, at five depths, soil heat flux, air temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, and rainfall. The soil and atmospheric data are accessible in real time to any farmer with internet service. Alabama Mesonet (ALMNet) was established in 2002 and is part of the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Soil Climate Analyses Network (USDA-NRCS-SCAN). Part of the funding came from USDA to establish this network. Our neighboring states including Mississippi, Kentucky and Georgia are part of the network. These weather stations are solar powered with a battery backup and, thus, do not depend on the availability of electricity for their location. Because of this, they can help transmitting during severe storms which disable conventional weather networks. The department of NRES received a major grant through the National weather Service to establish a Geospatial Data archiving and distribution center and expansion of the ALMNet throughout the State of Alabama. Additional 10 weather stations will be installed in 2009 to expand the ALMNet in the gulf coast region, central and northern Alabama in cooperation with land owners, state, and federal cooperators.
Dr. Teferi D. Tsegaye
Alabama A&M Univeristy
Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences P. O. Box 1208 Normal, Al 35762
Network NameALMNet
Facility TypeNetwork
PurposeOther (explain below)
LocationAlabama, Tennessee
Number of StationsCurrently 11 combination meteorological/soil profile stations, 12 soil profile stations, and Eddy Flux tower
Map of Stationshttp://wx.aamu.edu/ALMNet.php
CategoryMeteorology, soil, radiation, carbon, water table, salinity
Parameters (Most)All weather parameters and soil moisture, temperature and heat flux
Paramters (Limited)Rainfall, soil moisture,temperature, EC ( carbon, water and energy balance)
Period of Record2002-present
Temporal Resolution60 minute
Data Season24 hours throughout the year
Data AvailabilityThe delay is 1-2 hrs before the data is posted on our website.
Other PurposesResearch, Climate monitoring, Emergency response, Education, Forecasting
Need funds to additional stations to cover most of the counties in the State of Alabama and maintenance of the stations.
16 Mar 2010 10:42