Maryland Celebrates Unveiling of its First Mesonet Tower
A Landmark Moment in Advancing Weather Prediction and Public Safety
Ellicott City, MD (October 30, 2023) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) and the University of Maryland (UMD) today proudly unveiled the first of more than 70 Maryland Mesonet towers. The historic event marked a significant step forward in advancing weather prediction and ensuring the safety of Maryland’s residents and visitors.
The press event, held at the University of Maryland’s Central Maryland Research and Education Center in Clarksville (Howard County), celebrated a remarkable collaboration and a promising future for weather-related emergency management. The unveiling ceremony featured prominent speakers, including elected officials, who offered their valuable insights and enthusiasm for this transformative project.
“The unveiling of the first Maryland Mesonet Tower signifies a significant stride towards enhancing public safety and protecting Marylanders. The improved accuracy and lead time for severe weather warnings will be one of the most important benefits for our people. This groundbreaking initiative will revolutionize weather prediction, and I’m proud of the partnership between MDEM and the University of Maryland.” – MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland
“The University of Maryland is always looking for ways to serve our state, and the Maryland Mesonet is a perfect example of the expertise we have to offer,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “As Earth’s climate undergoes accelerating changes, weather forecasting only gets tougher. Getting it right quickly is crucial to the safety of people in this region as well as farmers’ ability to feed the world. This state-of-the-art system, coupled with our work with local, state and federal officials, makes our state a better place to live for all Marylanders.” – UMD President Darryll J. Pines
“The Mesonet will protect Marylanders from extreme wind and water harm by advancing emergency preparedness and the accuracy of regional weather forecasts. With an active State Climatologist Office and a fully deployed Mesonet soon, the University of Maryland will provide Marylanders insightful information on severe weather and climate variability and change that will benefit the state’s agriculture, tourism and transportation sectors, among others.” – Sumant Nigam, Director of the Maryland Mesonet; Professor and Chair of UMD’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science; Professor in UMD’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
Also spoke at the event:
- Guy J. Guzzone, Maryland State Senator, District 13
- Katie Fry Hester, Maryland State Senator, District 9
- Jennifer King Rice, University of Maryland Provost
- Chris Strong, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service
Also Attended the Event:
- Natalie Ziegler, Maryland State Delegate, District 9A
- Courtney Watson, Maryland State Delegate, District 9B
A Game Changer for Maryland
- Serving All Corners of the State: The Maryland Mesonet is strategically positioned to impact all regions of the State, particularly underserved communities vulnerable to climate change and sea-level rise.
- Faster, More Accurate Data: The Mesonet provides rapid, precise data for risk communication, ultimately saving lives.
- Data-Based Applications: The project supports the development of Mesonet-data-based applications for State and local agencies, NWS, Maryland’s K-12 education, farmers, fishermen, water managers, air-quality monitors, wind and solar energy producers, transportation professionals, and the media.
In addition to this significant unveiling event, a news conference was held last year to mark the inception of this transformative partnership, and a video highlighting the Mesonet’s features and importance is currently in production. For more information, please visit today.umd.edu/state-umd-partner-to-build-world-class-weather-observation-system
About MDEM: MDEM is a national leader in emergency management that provides Maryland residents, organizations, and emergency management partners with expert information, programmatic activities, and leadership in the delivery of financial, technical and physical resources “to shape a resilient Maryland where communities thrive.”
About the University of Maryland: The University of Maryland (UMD) is the state’s flagship university and a leading public research institution, propelled by a $1.3 billion joint research enterprise. Located four miles from Washington, D.C., the university is dedicated to addressing the grand challenges of our time and is the nation’s first Do Good campus. It is driven by a diverse and proudly inclusive community of more than 50,000 fearless Terrapins. UMD is a top producer of Fulbright scholars and offers an unparalleled student experience with more than 300 academic programs, 25 living-learning programs and 400 study abroad programs. Spurred by a culture of innovation and creativity, UMD faculty are global leaders in their field and include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and members of the national academies. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit umd.edu.
About the Maryland Mesonet: The Maryland Mesonet is a collaborative project between MDEM, UMD, Maryland Environmental Service (MES), NWS, and other State agencies, with the goal to develop and operate a world-class atmospheric monitoring system to deliver reliable, timely information to residents and enhance critical public safety decision-making. The Mesonet will also support agricultural, economic, and transportation operations.
A Mesonet (mesoscale network) is a network of automated weather observing infrastructure designed to take frequent and reliable atmospheric measurements. The data is transferred wirelessly to a central server where it can then be displayed on a user-friendly website with visualizations, maps, charts, and archives; as well as disseminated to stakeholders.
Pictures courtesy of UMD/John T. Consoli and MDEM/Travis Brown