(October 3, 2014) Global Science & Technology, Inc. (GST) has been awarded the task order to operate and continue the expansion of 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 $11.364 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.
GST and its alliance of universities and private weather companies have been performing work on the National Mesonet Program for five years. Known as the National Mesonet Program Alliance (NMPA), GST and its partners leverage existing non-federal environmental observation networks to supply meteorological data to improve NWS prediction of local weather, including high-impact storms (hurricanes, winter storms, floods, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes).
This task order expands the geographic coverage for mesonet observing networks, which detect temperature, wind, and moisture in the lower atmosphere as well as observations of soil temperature and soil moisture, solar radiation, and road-surface temperature. Mobile platforms provide additional weather observation coverage along their transit routes between fixed stations. GST operates an innovative Mobile Platform Environmental Data (MoPED) system to acquire and disseminate weather observations taken by commercial trucks.
“We are pleased to continue our work with NOAA to serve our nation with such an important mission as the National Mesonet Program,” said GST President Chieh-san Cheng. “Much progress has been made to bring to NOAA critical weather data from a diverse group of university and private industry partners, which grows larger each year. Clearly, there is a national priority to obtain quality weather observation data at the local level from this growing group of providers. Ultimately, NOAA’s use of the National Mesonet data improves weather forecasts that saves lives, protects property, and reduces economic impacts.”
During the past year, GST and NMPA partners increased collaboration with NOAA to infuse the mesonet data into NOAA’s operations. The combination of dense-network surface observations, mobile platform observations, and vertical profilers (that sample the lowest 10,000 feet of the atmosphere above the surface) provides a more complete view of the local weather. In Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, NMPA partners are working with NOAA to demonstrate how mesonets and a high-density radar network improve detection of severe storms as well as improve predicting the intensity and paths these storms take.
“Infusion and integration of mesonet data into the NWS forecasters’ work environment is critical for obtaining a more comprehensive view of local conditions—a situational awareness,” explained GST National Mesonet Program (NMP) Manager Paul Heppner. “Mesonet data fills the large geographic gaps between federally-owned airport equipment. The NMPA is growing with new partners who have mesonets in areas needed to serve the Weather Ready Nation mission of NOAA in a national footprint. All of the mesonets use commercial grade instruments and have high system availability, which is critical during periods of high-impact weather.”
The NMPA includes five corporate and 18 academic members, as well as the research center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) located in Amherst, MA.
For more information, contact Paul Heppner, NMP Program Manager, at Paul.Heppner@gst.com or 856-465-6834.
Global Science & Technology, Inc. (http://www.gst.com/) is a pioneering, high technology science company that has supported NOAA domestically and internationally for more than 15 years. Our mission is to apply our expertise toward solving the challenges fundamental to advanced science- and technology-based enterprises for federal, state, and local governments; commercial companies; and international organizations. ©2014 GST, Inc. All rights reserved.