Gov. Larry Hogan announced a groundbreaking partnership between the state of Maryland and the University of Maryland to build and operate the Maryland Mesonet. The state-of-the-art network of 75 weather-observing towers across the state that will provide real-time community-level monitoring and improve situational awareness during rapidly changing weather conditions.

The state has committed $4 million to the Maryland Mesonet, which will provide state and local emergency management officials with data and analysis to enhance public safety, reduce community risk and apply for disaster relief programs. It will also provide high-resolution meteorological observations to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, helping improve the regional weather forecast and better protect residents and businesses.

The project will also support the development of mesonet-data-based applications for state and local agencies, the National Weather Service, Maryland school systems, farmers, fishermen, water managers, air-quality monitors, wind and solar energy producers, transportation professionals and the media.

“This partnership means that Maryland residents and visitors will receive better forecasts and earlier lead time for severe weather warnings, like severe thunderstorm, tornado and flash flood,” said Maryland Department of Emergency Management Secretary Russ Strickland. “Through continued monitoring, threshold alerting, instant verification, and post-event analysis, the Maryland Mesonet will provide more data to our emergency management team to continually improve planning and processes, and will set a roadmap for a more weather-resilient Maryland.”

Maryland is one of only five states where emergency management is a department led by a cabinet-level secretary. Earlier this year, the governor signed legislation that established the Maryland Office of Resilience within the Maryland Department of Emergency Management.