The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has launched a one-stop shop for weather and environmental data called the Keystone Mesonet, https://keystone-mesonet.org/, with all the state and federally owned weather data in one location.
The site is the product of a partnership of Penn State University with PEMA, the PA Turnpike Commission, and the departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources and Transportation.
“This system will provide emergency managers with real-time data to help inform decision-making and preparedness for weather-related events,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “But the system also provides data like fuel moisture, which is essential for monitoring wildland fire threats, and roadway temperature, which is crucial for travel conditions.”
It is also a free tool for educators and the public.
“The ability to access real-time weather information … across the state will have numerous potential opportunities for new research, tool development, and to assist in weather forecast development,” said Kyle Imhoff, state climatologist. “We are very pleased to partner with PEMA and all of the state agencies that are willing to provide this real-time weather data for our mesonet.”
The website opens to a map of the state with the locations showing as circles. Clicking on the circle provides a snapshot of current conditions.
In Berks County, the stations listed are Reading Regional Airport, which is the National Weather Service site in Berks; a station at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site; and PennDOT sites at Route 422 and Interstate 176 in Cumru Township; and along Interstate 78 in Tilden Township.
The Hopewell site is part of the fire weather network, Imhoff said.
Imhoff noted that there are occasions some stations might be offline or having technical issues communicating with a server.
“The key for this was that we have all of this existing data for a statewide page,” he said “We wanted to make it a one-stop shop and make it user-friendly.”
Researching past data can be done by clicking on the barrel-shaped icon in the upper right. The menu and historical data is extensive.
The state’s mesonet adds to an already extensive network of weather measurements currently in place, including the MesoWest and CoCoRaHS networks, the Berks Area Rainfall Network and the weatherunderground.com website.