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Monitoring for extreme weather in a changing climate

Hennepin County Mesonet station with storm in backgroundA changing climate in Hennepin County means an increase in extreme weather events, including more rainfall, humidity, and snow and ice storms. All of these potentially pose a risk to Hennepin County residents. 

Hennepin County is committed to ensuring we have the information necessary to adapt to a changing climate. Expanding and maintaining the Hennepin West Mesonet is one way we can do that.

Measuring local weather conditions

A mesonet is a system of automated weather monitoring stations used to measure local weather conditions, which can differ greatly from the region as a whole. This improves weather forecasting, helps in making informed decisions about the weather conditions, and increases our understanding of Hennepin County’s climate.

The Hennepin West Mesonet monitors the following weather conditions:

  • Barometric pressure
  • Freezing rain
  • Lightning strikes and threat
  • Present weather conditions
  • Rainfall
  • Solar radiation
  • Soil moisture, temperature, permittivity, and conductivity
  • Snow depth
  • Snow-water equivalent
  • Temperature and relative humidity
  • Visibility
  • Wet-bulb globe temperature
  • Wind speed and direction

Improving extreme weather response

Up-to-date and localized information means that Hennepin County Emergency Management can act more quickly to warn residents using outdoor warning sirens. They can also better support cities overwhelmed by a natural disaster.