MSU Enviro-weather station network growing

Two new Enviro-weather stations have been added in Oceana County in 2016.

New Enviro-weather stations have been added for Elbridge/Hart (left) and Benona (right).

New Enviro-weather stations have been added for Elbridge/Hart (left) and Benona (right).

The backbone of Michigan State University Enviro-weather is the network of automated weather stations that continually collect weather data and feed the tools on the Enviro-weather website to provide users with decision-making information. Thanks to funding from the Tree Fruit Commission through a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Specialty Crop Block Grant, Enviro-weather has added two new weather stations for 2016 in Oceana County.

The first station, “Elbridge/Hart”, is hosted at VanAgtmael Orchards, located on Fox Road in Hart, Michigan. The station was installed May 5. The second station, “Benona,” is hosted at DeRuiter Orchards, located in Benona Township near west Buchanan Road and south 24th Avenue in Oceana County. It was installed June 16 near a young apple orchard.

Map of Michigan

New Enviro-weather stations Benona (left/west) and Elbridge (right/east) shown on map of Michigan.

The total number of weather stations has grown slowly but steadily, from 45 in 2006 to 83 currently. Each station is composed of identical (or nearly identical) research-grade components to ensure high quality data and to reduce the risks of operational equipment failure. Enviro-weather is at or near its capacity as far as additional weather stations. While we anticipate adding a few new stations (all stations are privately funded), we are also investigating using data provided by the National Weather Service to “fill in” the areas between weather stations. This approach shows much promise, but is still in the testing phase.

Many thanks and much appreciation go to the Tree Fruit Commission and Cherry Marketing Institute for their work on obtaining the funding to make these two new stations a reality. Thanks also to the two hosts. Enviro-weather sincerely appreciates the continuing support of the Michigan agricultural commodity groups and all of our users.

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