For more than 75 years, the Research Stations Division has worked with the National Weather Service (NWS) and other federal and state agencies to provide accurate, statewide weather data. We proudly serve as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / NWS Cooperative Observer Program. Sixteen of the 18 locations are bases for automated weather stations, collecting data such as air and soil temperatures, relative humidity, precipitation, barometric pressure, and wind speed and direction. The Central Crops Research Station in Clayton (Johnston County) boasts a NEXRAD (Next Generation Weather Radar System) Doppler unit.
The majority of our stations report data using NC ECONet towers that combine sensors from several networks into a single comprehensive database. SCO stations record hourly weather and environmental conditions are recorded by automated sensors. Parameters include air temperature, humidity, winds, precipitation, pressure, solar radiation, soil temperature, and soil moisture. Sensors are maintained by the State Climate Office of North Carolina . Hourly data for these sensors begin in 1996. Observations are generally available each hour.
The Tidewater Research Station hosts a SCAN unit. SCAN stations focus on the agricultural areas of the United States. Maintained by the National Resources Conservation Service, the SCAN sites are used to monitor drought development, for soil classification and moisture assessment, for input into global circulation models, and for various water table assessments that are important to local crops, woodlands, and wetlands.
All information is fed to the National Climatic Data Center and the State Climate Office of North Carolina where it is processed and made available to the NWS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). N.C. State University Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences students also use the data in their undergraduate and graduate studies.
When you hear and see local and national weather reports, you can be sure meteorologists and climatologists are using information gathered from our stations