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To prepare for climate change, states are getting into the weather business.
Thirty-eight states are operating or building networks of weather monitoring stations to provide more precise data than they receive from the National Weather Service. They’re using that information to help spot flash floods, assess wildfire risk, inform farming practices and choose locations for renewable energy projects.
The programs are known as mesonets, which are networks that detect weather events spanning 1 to 150 miles. They’re intended to fill the gaps between National Weather Service sites, which can miss localized rain events, wind conditions or air quality issues.