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NIDIS Participates in Ribbon Cutting for Soil Moisture and Plains Snow Monitoring Program


On August 25, 2022, Marina Skumanich, Program Specialist with NIDIS/National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network, took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion of the Mesonet at South Dakota State University (SDSU) as part of the Upper Missouri River Basin Soil Moisture and Plains Snow Build-out.

This US Army Corps of Engineers-led project will include the installation of over 500 soil moisture and snowpack monitoring stations by four state mesonets in the region (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming). The stations will provide high-quality “total water” monitoring (precipitation, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, snow depth, and soil moisture), distributed about every 25 miles over the basin, and will provide a direct benefit to river, weather, and climate applications, including early warning for the hydro extremes of flooding and drought.

The ribbon cutting was at the newly upgraded mesonet station located on the SD State Extension Outdoor Campus in Sertoma Park, Sioux Falls, SD. Dignitaries at the event included Senator Mike Rounds, Governor Kristi Noem, SDSU President Barry Dunn, Col. Mark Himes of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance board members Elizabeth Wakeman and Reno Red Cloud, along with representatives of the City of Sioux Falls, farmers, and NOAA and the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network.

The Upper Missouri River Basin Soil Moisture and Plains Snow Build-Out project is a key initiative of the NIDIS sponsored National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network (NCSMMN). This multi-agency, multi-institutional initiative is a collaborative effort among federal agencies, soil moisture scientists, state mesonet operators, and others to plan for and support nationally-coordinated soil moisture monitoring, data assimilation, and product development.

For more information, contact Marina Skumanich.

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