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Hardin Hall Weather Station To Feed Data Every Five Minutes

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Source/Author: Kelly Smith - UNL School of Natural Resources 09/29/09

Nebraska's 64th Automated Weather Data Network station has just been installed in the prairie north of Hardin Hall. The ET107 Campbell unit will measure precipitation, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, soil temperature, air temperature, and humidity. Eventually, we should be able to display the data on the monitors in the lobbies of Hardin Hall every five minutes.

Glen Roebke, who installs and maintains weather stations for the High Plains Regional Climate Center, said that the Hardin Hall station will reflect its urban location. Parking lots and buildings affect conditions such as temperature and wind speeds. "In an ideal situation, we'd like to have a 300-meter radius" with nothing around a station, he said. "But that's very difficult to achieve."

This weather station will not represent the weather conditions in the rural parts of Lancaster County but it will be typical of weather conditions in the urban environment, said Ken Hubbard, HPRCC climatologist and senior scientist. Along with other urban and rural sites in the county, it will quantify the magnitude of the differences to be expected.

Having the weather station so close to Hardin Hall, where many climate and natural resources classes are taught, will be convenient for field trips, Hubbard said. "It'll help make students more aware of what we’re doing to monitor climate in the region," Ken said. Plus, people walking to and from meetings or classes on campus will have access to nearby conditions more representative than the airport weather station.

"Hardin Hall should be a good opportunity to learn to run a station in real time, and see what people are interested in," said HPRCC programmer Bill Sorensen. "In the past, we've gotten the data once a day. It's good to have a learning environment right outside your door."

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