North Dakota revamps weather site for farmers

North Dakota revamps weather site for farmers

Blue skies and fluffy cumulus clouds are in the forecast for the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network. Its Web site, at www.soilsci.ndsu.nodak.edu/Enz/index.html, provides detailed weather data for farmers, but 'the data just wasn't as available as I would like,' state climatologist John Enz said.

Using a grant from the state, Enz and his programming staff of one are going to add better search engines and more modeling capability.

The site posts weather data each night from 56 weather stations scattered throughout North Dakota and some fringe areas of border states. The stations transmit data over telephone lines to a database on a Unix platform.

The new site will model weather data so that farmers and agricultural researchers can predict'and possibly prevent'crop diseases. 'When these models work, we can warn farmers of impending crop diseases in time for them to take corrective action,' Enz said.

Users can see models based on temperatures, rainfall, dew point, humidity, soil temperature and wind speed. The site also posts digital color photos of current weather conditions at the 56 stations.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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