Own a Weather Station? We Want Your Data!
Do you own a personal home weather station and a computer with a dedicated connection to the
Internet, such as fiber, DSL or cable? If you do, the National Weather Service (NWS) and local
television meteorologists would love to see your data! The NWS can ingest your frequently-posted
weather data into our data and display systems, which can not only improve computer model data (and
subsequent weather forecasts) for your area, but also makes the NWS and local television
meteorologists aware of micro-climates (unique temperature, wind and precipitation patterns)
specific to your local area.
In addition, have you ever watched the weather on television and your favorite meteorologist
shows or references weather data from some pretty small towns and remote areas not near your typical
larger airports that have a dedicated weather sensor? That data comes from personal weather
stations, uploaded to the MADIS data
stream, and used by television meteorologists to help bring local weather conditions to
you, the viewer.
Check out the screen capture below - all those dots represent weather stations that are sending
data into the MADIS data stream. Most of these are private weather stations! (Image is courtesy of
MADIS). If you wish to access this disply, just follow the link above!
Posting your data online is relatively quick and simple if you own a weather station that is
capable of interfacing with a computer. If your weather station and accompanying computer software
has this functionality (check the instruction manuals), and you have dedicated connection to the
Internet, read on for some more information on how you can send your data out to the world!
So how do you get your weather data online? The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a
private-public partnership with three main goals: 1) to collect weather data contributed by
citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to
provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their
There are over 6,000 registered CWOP members world wide, including
a large number in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. CWOP members send their weather data by to special
computer servers (MADIS), and then every 15 minutes, the entire data set is sent from these servers
to an NWS server. These data are checked for quality and accuracy and then redistributed to users.
The data is available for use by NWS and television meteorologists for use in forecasts and
situational awareness almost immediately. There are over 500 different user organizations of mesonet
If you are interested in improving weather forecasts, and want your data to play a role in the
overall NWS watch/warning/forecast process, or be used by your local television meteorologist in
their forecast process and current condition presentation, then navigate to the CWOP link above and
become a member of CWOP. Read and follow the instructions to become a CWOP member, as well as for
your weather station and weather software. Once you acquire a CWOP identification (ID), set up your
weather software/station to send your data! This is usually a very quick and relatively simple
To give you some idea of how valuable this data can be, check out this news link from
CWOP which details some of the ways CWOP data is being used in extreme weather
situations or in other unique ways.
If you are interested in getting your data online, and have questions about the overall
process, please send an email to the link below! Due to a widely varying number of weather stations
and software packages, we won't be able to address specific setup problems, or recommend
specific instrument/software packages. Please address those questions to CWOP, or refer to your
Seth Binau - Science/Operations Officer