One of the aspects of life in the Great Plains is nothing is permanent. Even in the investigation of what constituted normal weather in historical Great Plains, our state is blessed, and cursed, with a state of constant change.
It is with this in mind that the Nebraska Mesonet announces the closure of the following Mesonet weather stations: Duncan 2W, Curtis 1N, West Point 2W, and Ithaca 3E. Duncan 2W has been in place since 1996, Curtis 1N since 1986, West Point 2W since 1982, and Ithaca 3E, also known as Mead, since 1981. Ithaca 3E was the very first Nebraska Mesonet station.
Along with the closure of these stations, Champion 5SE, the second station installed to initiate the Nebraska Mesonet in 1981, will close after 1 January 2021.
All of these stations are closing due to the indirect or perceived economic issues brought on by COVID 19. It is the mission of the Nebraska State Climate Office to bring to the stakeholders of Nebraska the highest quality environmental observations possible within limited financial resources. Longevity is only part of the equation when scoring the viability of a location, and as funding ceased or became limited for individual stations or groups of stations, we assessed the importance of the viability of the observation to represent the area surrounding the station, as opposed to the sentimentality of how long a station has existed.
From hardship comes the potential for opportunity. We will use theses closures to increase the overall siting score for the Nebraska Mesonet, and hopefully grow the network in a direction that provides environmental monitoring for the entire State.
Source: Stonie Cooper at Nebraska State Climate Office