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TexMesonet data collection network expands coverage through 100th TWDB weather station Posted on September 11, 2023


Lauren Bos - TexMesonet Outreach Coordinator, Texas Water Development Board

TexMesonet is a network of weather and soil observing stations across the entire state of Texas. One hundred of those sites are maintained by the Texas Water Development Board, and over 3,000 others are coming from other networks. Water Development Board stations collect data on wind, temperature, humidity, solar radiation, barometric pressure, precipitation, as well as soil moisture and soil temperature.

We also bring in data from partner network stations such as flood stage and stream gages. So, we have a wide variety of environmental monitoring data coming in online. Data on TexMesonet.org is useful for wildland firefighters who may be monitoring wind as they monitor fire conditions. It's also useful for ranchers and farmers. It's also useful for everyday Texans so that they know what's going on in their area.

This is TexMesonet’s 100th weather station, and we plan on continuing to grow the network so that Texans all across the state, whether they live in the middle of Presidio County or in a large urban area such as San Antonio, they all have access to high-quality weather data. Their forecasters and emergency managers know what's going on. They have ground truthing data that allows them to verify data coming in from radar and satellite so they know what's going on on the ground in real-time.

The station is being built on Edwards Aquifer Authority Field Research Park property. It is going to be valuable for not only the local residents of the area but it helps us paint a larger picture of weather data coming in, even across the entire basin or region.

Bryan Anderson – Director of Data Management, Edwards Aquifer Authority 

With the acquisition of our Field Research Park here in northern Bexar County, we have a unique opportunity to collect long-term data. We know that we can, for future generations, can continue to collect data, can continue to perform studies out here to help us better understand the hydrologic cycle in this part of Texas. And so, having a permanent TexMesonet station just seemed like, kind of, a no-brainer.

One of the factors that we're looking at in our models now is not only the lack of rain, which we know there hasn't been a lot of rain but also the intensity of the solar radiation. So, that's one of the parameters that the TexMesonet stations provide, is that solar radiation parameter. So, we can see the intensity of the temperatures. But having that longer trend data is vital.

One of the big things that we're pushing study-wise out here at the Field Research Park is diffuse recharge. A lot of this area is a lot like the homesteads out in the Hill Country, and so identifying how we can slow the flow of water, allow it to infiltrate into the ground, and build that soil profile so that you can retain the moisture in the ground. The more you can retain the moisture in the ground, the better it is for the hydrologic cycle, for recharging the aquifer, but also for keeping temperatures a little bit cooler.

The Water Development Board has become the primary agency to collect not only this weather station data but soil moisture data, evapotranspiration data. All of those data points are vital to how we manage the Edwards Aquifer.

Lauren Bos - TexMesonet Outreach Coordinator, Texas Water Development Board

Our partnership with the Edwards Aquifer Authority, as well as other entities, is really valuable in painting a detailed picture of weather and other environmental factors across the state of Texas.

This article is posted in Flood / Technology / Weather / Drought / Conservation / Water Data .