University establishes Nebraska State Climate Office

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is establishing a facility that will focus on providing the state detailed pictures of the state’s weather and historical climate data, university officials said.

The new Nebraska State Climate Office will operate under the wing of university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The office will identify and provide the climate recording and reporting services needed most by Nebraska users, especially those engaged in agriculture.

The data will be shared through the state climate office’s website, mobile apps and other products in development, said John Carroll, the School of Natural Resources director. Many of the products have been “sitting on the shelf” waiting for deployment, Carroll said, and could be launched yet this year.

The university said Wednesday that the office staff of climatologists and meteorologists will manage a network of 69 weather stations called the Nebraska Mesonet. Martha Shulski, who will direct the new office along with longtime state climatologist Al Dutcher, said the climate office wants stations in all 93 Nebraska counties.

“We’d like more in the Sandhills and the Panhandle especially,” Shulski told the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1O6PzDp ).

The network has been managed by the university’s High Plains Regional Climate Center. Transferring those duties to the new state climate office, university officials said, will let the center focus on the needs of the broader region, which is composed of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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