|An interesting article posted by David L. Burton of the Southwest Region News Service may be found here. The article discusses with the assistance of Pat Guinan, associate professor of climatology with the University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program, how the Cooperative Weather Station Network since 1895 has provided a unique perspective on weather in Southwest Missouri. Topics include the area's warming and precipitation trends.
According to Guinan, the cooperative weather station network was established in 1890 and now includes over 8,000 weather stations. These stations form the backbone of the nation’s climate records and can provide a perspective on regional weather trends.
“At most stations, the volunteer observer mostly sees it as their civic duty to report their high and low temperature and precipitation every day,” said Guinan. “There are fewer than 200 sites in Missouri and 28 of those are what I like to call pioneer stations, meaning they’ve been continuously active since the late 1800’s.”
The southwest Missouri climate division has four pioneer stations: one in Neosho, one in Lamar, one at the Springfield weather office and one in Lebanon. Two MU Extension automated weather stations exist in the region, one in Lamar and one in Mountain Grove. There are just over 40 cooperative stations in southwest Missouri that provide information that make it possible to monitor precipitation and temperature.
A copy of the presentation given by Patrick Guinan is available for download on the Greene County Extension website here. This publication includes all of the graphics and slides used in the presentation.