November 7, 2007 | By: Aimee Nielson
LEXINGTON, KY.

Each spring and fall, the National Weather Service hosts media seminars for their weather partners at area television stations to discuss any issues or changes related to the weather service’s products and to ensure everyone has the most current information. For the first time, the University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Weather Center hosted the fall seminar on the Lexington campus.

Television meteorologists from every major Lexington network station attended the seminar and UK Agricultural Meteorologist Tom Priddy said it provided a great opportunity for him to tell participants about information the weather center offers. Priddy explained a new and unique element of the weather center – the Point Agricultural, Lawn and Garden Forecast/Outlook.

“You won’t find this on weather.com or Accuweather, but you will find it at the UK Ag Weather Center,” he said. Basically you can enter a zip code, city and state or even latitude/longitude locations anywhere in the United States and receive a point-specific forecast from the National Weather Center’s National Digital Forecast Database.”

Priddy said the ability to get forecasts based on latitude and longitudinal locations makes the information more personal for farmers and homeowners. It provides three and six-day forecasts that include a plethora of information such as minimum and maximum temperatures, dewpoints, rainfall, wind and cloud information. It even provides information related to spraying conditions and cold or heat stress conditions for livestock. 

Another topic Priddy discussed with media representatives was the new Kentucky Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. It is a unique, nonprofit, community-based, high-density network of individual and family volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, who take daily measurements of rain, hail and snow in their backyards. 

“Once the network is up and running, everyone is going to benefit from the collected data,” Priddy said. “Precipitation amounts are so variable from one area to another. All the volunteer’s reports will go straight to a National Weather Service database. It will provide the television meteorologists an accurate resource for reliable precipitation information.” 

Joe Sullivan, coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Louisville said the network will benefit the weather service, the public and the media.

“We are not in competition with the television stations,” he said. “We are partners. I abide by the NWS mission, which is the protection of lives and people and whatever way that occurs is beneficial for everyone involved.”

Priddy said partnering with the weather service benefits the lives of all Kentuckians. 
“We’re using tools that play right into the NWS mission,” he said. “We have applications with a potential to enhance forecasts and provide very detailed and accurate information, and we have to share that with anyone who might be able to use it to keep people informed about weather in Kentucky and beyond. “

To see the Point Agricultural, Lawn and Garden Forecast/Outlook, visit the UK Agricultural Weather Center. For information on becoming a county coordinator or to volunteer for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, contact Priddy at 859-257-3000, ext. 245 or e-mail Priddy@email.uky.edu.

Contact: 

Tom Priddy, 859-257-3000, ext. 245