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The Virginia Tech Mesonet project needs your help!

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 3:58 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2021 at 8:56 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Students from Virginia Tech are working on a project to help improve forecasting and you can be apart of this.

Weather conditions can vary even at the most localized levels. If you have a personal weather station, the Virginia Tech Mesonet project needs your help.

Tuesday night, heavy rainfall hit portions of the Churchville area and caused several mudslides on US 250. This was a very isolated situation and can be difficult to detect with a lack of weather stations in the area.

“It’s really easy and its a great thing to do especially during severe weather where having weather stations in the most remote locations is extremely important,” said Zach Behl, Virginia Tech Mesonet team leader.

Behl said the data from your weather station goes right in to create hyperlocalized forecasts. The project essentially is to get owners of personal weather stations to share their data to the National Weather Service to improve accuracy.

“When you connect your station to the National Weather Serivce, your data is actually being put directly into our models to make more accurate forecasts for your locality,” said Behl.

This can also help save lives. When the remnants of Michael struck Danville, Virginia in 2018, personal weather stations were used in addition to radar to identify where the heaviest rain was falling. “It was really great that they were down there since they could issue a Flash Flood Emergency before the power went out throughout the city,” said Behl.

To get your weather station online, search for “Citizen Weather Observation Program.” Once you click on the search result, it will give you step-by-step instructions on how to participate. You can also click here.

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