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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Dubois, Idaho » Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research » Research » Research Project #443573

Research Project: Operation of NOAA Mesonet Weather Monitoring Staion to Provide Critical Weather Data to Local NOAA Forecaters

Location: Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research

Project Number: 2056-21500-001-002-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Feb 1, 2023
End Date: Jan 31, 2028

Establish a Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement (NFCA) to: (a) carry out cooperative research and to set forth understandings between the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Sheep Experiment Station (USSES) and U.S.Dept. of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Air Resources Laboratory Special Operations and Research Division (ARLSORD), Idaho Falls, Idaho; (b) establish a general framework for cooperation and coordination between the two parties; and (c) define the basis for which the parties will cooperate in the continued operation of one of the NOAA Mesonet weather monitoring stations located at the USSES Headquarters approximately 7 miles north of Dubois, Idaho.

The research relationship between NOAA ARLSORD and the USDA-ARS-USSES enables both entities to sustain growth in their research areas; wherein ARS scientists are able to expand their research capacity through their relationships with NOAA, and the NOAA scientists are engaged in collaborative opportunities with ARS scientists. It is in the interest of both parties to continue a beneficial working relationship so that research can be better directed toward meeting the needs of the United States and other nations, and can be more expeditiously accomplished at less cost. NOAA ARLSORD owns and operates the NOAA/INL Mesonet for the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) Idaho Operations Office in support of the Idaho National Laboratory. The Mesonet consists of a network of 34 weather monitoring stations that spans a broad area of the Eastern Snake River Plain reaching from Minidoka on the south and west to the USDA, ARS, U.S. Sheep Experiment Station on the north and east. The mesonet began in 1949 and has been in continuous operation since that time. A memorandum of agreement, signed in 2012, describes the NOAA/INL Meteorological Research Partnership and provides a general overview of the purpose of the Mesonet. It states, in part: “DOE and NOAA have cooperated for more than 60 years in conducting research programs related to atmospheric transport and diffusion, and climate phenomenon. These programs support agency missions to better understand: 1) atmospheric dispersion to help protect human life and property, 2) complex mountain wind flows and their effect on local meteorology and climate, and 3) global climate change based on decades-long local meteorological observations. The local NOAA/INL Mesonet provides critical wind, temperature, and precipitation data during severe weather to local NOAA [National Weather Service] forecasters to aid in effectively targeting watches and warnings. The quality-assured Mesonet record spans 63 years.”