4 The record articles

I (Heart) NY…and Its Meteorological Data Network

Posted: September 6th, 2017

Authors: Dan D. 

Facilities in New York enjoy an air permitting advantage that is unavailable to facilities located in many other states: a dense network of meteorological data for use in air quality modeling evaluations.  The Federal Department of Homeland Security worked with the State of New York to place at least one meteorological station in every county in the state.  The resulting network (called New York State’s Mesoscale Weather Network, or Mesonet) consists of 125 meteorological stations measuring the meteorological variables that are necessary for improved weather forecasts but that also provide the necessary information required for air dispersion models.  In addition of the 125 meteorological stations, 17 are classified as “enhanced stations”, which include light detection and ranging (LIDAR) vertical profilers.  (For more information on vertical profilers check out ALL4’s article on ALL4’s sonic detection and ranging (SODAR) vertical profiler).  This wide-ranging coverage of meteorological data means that facilities will not be limited to using National Weather Service (NWS) meteorological data when performing air quality modeling studies that are part of the air permitting process.  Even more importantly, facilities in areas where NWS data are not representative of the meteorological conditions now have an option to use Mesonet data instead of collecting their own site-specific meteorological data.  The collection of site-specific meteorological data requires 12-16 months of monitoring and planning, and data collection costs start at $50,000.  Imagine the benefit to your project timeline if you can expedite your project by 12 months and save at least $50,000!

ALL4 has extensive experience evaluating meteorological data, and we view the Mesonet data as being an extremely unique advantage to all facilities located in New York (and potentially, facilities near the NY border).  We have had numerous conversations with clients about how the unavailability of representative meteorological data adversely affects the project scope.  In many instances facilities are forced to use screening meteorological data that results in significant overestimates of modeled concentrations.

Check out the data for all of the state-wide locations of the Mesonet sites.  Keep in mind, before these datasets can be used for air dispersion modeling, they must be processed, which requires time and effort.  Please reach out to me at ddix@all4inc.com or another member of ALL4’s air quality modeling team to discuss further the New York State Mesonet data and how the data may assist you in meeting your air permitting requirements.


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