The UtahMesonet: Monitoring weather conditions over the intermountain west

TitleThe UtahMesonet: Monitoring weather conditions over the intermountain west
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1998
AuthorsHorel, J., Slemmer J., McDonald B., Dunn L., and Zaff D.
Conference Name66th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 66th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1998
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSnowbird, Utah
KeywordsSNOTEL, Weather network, Wind data

The Utah Mesonet has been under development during the past several years. The Mesonet has been designed tohelp forecasters in the Intermountain West obtain current weather conditions in a timely fashion. All available surface reports from manned and automated stations are collected, archived, and displayed at 15-minute intervals. While attention is focussed on meteorological parameters such as temperature and wind, precipitation information is also obtained from sensors installed by the National Weather Service near the Wasatch Mountains as well as information from Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) sites and data collected by the Colorado River Basin Forecast Center.Operational and experimental forecasts of precipitation during January-May 1997 are evaluated over the western United States. The sensitivity of model forecast skill as a function of model horizontal resolution is assessed. Models that resolve the underlying terrain in greater detail (such as the 10 kIn and 29 kIn versions of the Eta model developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction) provide better forecasts of orographic precipitation during winter.