New Weather Station Provides First Official Weather Readings Taken in Central Denver Since Mid

One-of-a-Kind Public-Private Partnership Makes New Weather Station Possible

DENVER-November 10, 2009-For the first time in more than a decade, the National Weather Service is able to record up-to-the-minute weather data in central Denver, thanks to the installation of a new official weather station on the City Park Golf Course. The new weather station was made possible by a public-private partnership that is the first of its kind in the nation.

The collaboration involved the Denver Museum of Nature & Science;  Vaisala, a global leader in the manufacture of extremely accurate weather instruments; the City of Denver's Parks & Recreation Department; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the National Weather Service (NWS); 7News Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson; Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken;  Elcar Fence; and Mercury Electric.

"The Museum was pleased to be a part of establishing and supporting this new facility, especially as it allows us to re-establish the climate record for central Denver, data that has been missing for more than 10 years," said Dave Noel, Vice President of Information Technology at the Museum. "Plus, it's great science, and that's what we're about!"

The new weather station is one of just two NWS weather stations in Denver city limits that record data in real time. The other weather station is located 18 miles from downtown at Denver International Airport, and provides the official National Weather Service records for the city of Denver.  From 1948 until the opening of DIA in 1995, the official weather readings for Denver were taken at the old Stapleton Airport site. When the official weather station was moved to DIA, it left a gap in the NWS data network for central Denver.

The idea for the new weather station was first proposed by Nelson, who had long hoped for an official NWS weather station somewhere near downtown Denver to replace the one at Stapleton. But finding funding, an appropriate location, and access to necessary technology infrastructure to support a new weather station proved difficult.

After several months of discussions between Nelson, Vaisala, the Museum, NOAA, the National Weather Service, and the Denver Parks & Recreation Department, a solution was reached.  Vaisala generously donated all the instruments and project services required for the new weather station to the Museum. The Museum now owns and operates the weather monitoring facility under special operating agreements with the City & County of Denver and the NOAA/National Weather Service.

"Not only is it important for Vaisala to be a responsible global citizen but also a good neighbor. By supporting this project with products and solutions, we can make the micro-climates of the greater Denver area that much more understood," said Scott Sternberg, the president of Vaisala, Inc., who is based at Vaisala's North American headquarters in Louisville, CO.

After an exhaustive search, the National Weather Service approved a site for the new weather station adjacent to the 12th tee complex at City Park Golf Course, and the installation was completed. Elcar Fence donated the chain link fence that surrounds the weather station, and Mercury Electric wired the site to provide electricity.
Weather data collected by the weather station includes wind speed and direction, temperature (actual and wind chill), barometric pressure, visibility, relative humidity, dew point, heat index, and precipitation measured in the last hour, in the last day and in the last year.

The Museum receives data from the weather station via radio signal, and then forwards it to the National Weather Service. Data from the station can be viewed on the Museum's website, in the Today's Weather section under Plan Your Visit, on the National Weather Service website at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/den/ , or the NOAA Weather radio station located in Denver at 162.55 Mhz. The official NOAA station ID is DMNC2.  The NWS transmits data from the weather station to regional and national data information sources, and it will become part of the climatological record of the United States.

"This new highly accurate weather station in the heart of Denver will provide more precise data, helping us better predict short term weather and track our changing climate," said Nelson.

This private-public partnership is the first of its kind in the nation, bringing a new highly accurate weather station on line with minimal taxpayer expense. It is a model the National Weather Service hopes to use again in the future in other areas.

"This truly unique partnership has allowed continuation of the historical record of weather and snow measurements in Denver.  The cooperation of multiple levels of government, the media and private industry can serve as a model in expanding observational networks, which are a critical backbone of our ability to study and better understand climate changes," said Lynn Maximuk, Director of the NOAA National Weather Service Central Region.

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region's leading resource for informal science education. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205.  To learn more about the Museum, check www.dmns.org, or call 303-370-6000.

About Vaisala
Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on more than 70 years of experience, Vaisala contributes to a better quality of life by providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services for meteorology, weather critical operations and controlled environments. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs over 1200 professionals worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. www.vaisala.com

Media contact:
Theresa Mary Fischer, NA Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile +1 520 270 2712
email: theresa.fischer@vaisala.com

Many of the Museum's educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by generous funding from the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.

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