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Global Science & Technology’s Alliance Wins Contract for National Weather Service’s National Mesonet Program

Home > Newsroom > Global Science & Technology’s Alliance Wins Contract for National Weather Service’s National Mesonet Program
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Global Science & Technology, Inc. (GST) has been awarded a new task order to operate and expand the National Mesonet Program for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS).  The task order has a maximum ordering value of $10.467 million over a one-year period of performance under the NOAA Scientific and Technical Support Services Next Generation Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (Sci-Tech NG IDIQ) contract.  The Sci-Tech NG IDIQ is NOAA’s largest scientific and technical support services contract designed to be used throughout the agency.

The National Mesonet Program is a network of existing non-Federal surface-based observation networks (“mesonets”) located throughout the United States.  These mesonets are both fixed as well as mobile.  The provision of meteorological observations and associated metadata to NWS helps to improve forecasts and warnings for severe weather within local NWS field offices and foster effective collaboration among disparate network operators which will help NOAA’s to achieve its objective of a Weather-Ready Nation.

“We are pleased to continue to serve our nation with such an important mission as the National Mesonet Program,” explained GST President Chieh-san Cheng.  “Clearly, there it is a national priority to obtain weather observation data at the local level.  Ultimately, we believe better weather and forecast data can help save lives, protect property and reduce economic impacts.”

GST and its alliance of universities and weather companies have been performing work on the National Mesonet Program for four years.  Known as the National Mesonet Program Alliance (NMPA), GST and its partners will continue to leverage existing non-federal environmental observation networks to supply observation data to improve the prediction of high-impact, local weather events.  The new task order requires the detection of temperature, wind, and moisture in the lower atmosphere as well as observations of soil temperature and moisture, solar radiation, and road-surface temperature. 

“Increased sampling of the lower atmosphere improves the data used for predictive weather models,” explained GST National Mesonet Program Manager Paul Heppner.  “Meteorological data from the National Mesonet Program also improves situational awareness to weather forecasters and the public alike.  During Hurricane Sandy, meteorological observations from non-federal automated weather stations along the New Jersey coast provided NOAA with actionable information that showed the strength of the wind and impacts of the storm when Sandy made its unusual landfall.”     

The fixed stations in the National Mesonet Program are located in 28 states across the nation and the District of Columbia.

Mobile platforms also take weather observations, that are used by NOAA.

“We’re also pleased that the NWS will continue to utilize our innovative Mobile Platform Environmental Data (MoPED) observation network,” said Chieh-san Cheng.  “MoPED acquires observational data from commercial vehicles (e.g., trucking fleets or delivery vans) that operate on major highways and delivery routes between and around metropolitan areas in the U.S.  While the vehicles are traveling, they are taking weather observations.  Many vehicles cover hundreds of miles daily.  Mobile platform weather observations ‘fill the gaps’ between the fixed automated weather stations, which often are situated dozens of miles apart.”

In addition to surface automated weather stations and mobile platforms, the NMPA is expanding the provision of temperature, moisture, and wind data ‘vertically’ in the lowest part of the atmosphere.  This information is very important to help with the prediction of thunderstorms and other high-impact storms, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

The NMPA includes four corporate and 16 academic members as well as the research center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) located in Amherst, MA.

For more information, contact Vice President of Technical Programs Chris Moren; email: Chris.Moren@gst.com.