Climate is just one of the areas Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension’s new field specialist in agriculture weather and climate and the state climatologist of Ohio, is focusing on through his work to transform the CFAES Ag Weather System into the Ohio Mesonet, a network of weather stations that collects data used for agricultural, environmental, and emergency management.
The mesonet will monitor numerous parameters to evaluate weather conditions such as temperature, wind, relative humidity, rainfall, soil temperature, soil moisture, solar radiation, and barometric pressure. It will also provide enhanced opportunities for research in agriculture, applied climatology and meteorology, and environmental science.
“Mesonet data is particularly valuable for farmers and natural resources districts,” Wilson said. “More so today than at any other time, there is a growing consciousness of the challenges that a changing climate and extreme variability present to profitability and sustainability of agriculture, in Ohio and across the globe.”
Wilson is also working to enhance programs focused on “climate-smart” agriculture to bolster Ohio and the Midwest’s agricultural resilience to climate change. He collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Midwest Climate Hub and with numerous Extension partners across the North Central region. This initiative has been bolstered by support from weatherUSA, CFAES, and the Ohio Soybean Council.