A Technical Overview of the North Carolina ECONet

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-22-0079.1. This is version 5 of this Preprint.

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Sheila M. Saia, Sean P. Heuser, Myleigh D. Neill, William A. LaForce IV, John A. McGuire, Kathie D. Dello


Regional weather networks–also referred to as mesonets–are imperative for filling in the spatial and temporal data gaps between nationally supported weather stations. The North Carolina Environment and Climate Observing Network (ECONet) fills this regional role; it is a mesoscale network of 44 (as of 2023) automated stations collecting 12 environmental variables every minute across North Carolina. Measured variables include air temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, total solar radiation, photosynthetically active solar radiation, soil temperature, soil moisture, leaf wetness index, and black globe temperature. All data undergo quality control procedures and are made freely available to the public via data portals hosted by the State Climate Office of North Carolina at North Carolina State University. This paper provides a technical overview of ECONet, including a description of the siting criteria, station maintenance procedures, data quality control procedures, and data availability. We also summarize unique aspects of ECONet data collection as well as innovative research and applications that rely on ECONet data. ECONet data are used by many sectors including, but not limited to, emergency management, natural resources management, public health, agriculture, forestry, science education, outdoor recreation, and research. ECONet data and data-powered applications offer valuable insights to local, regional, and federal partners yet opportunities to expand ECONet research and applications remain.




Agricultural Science, Agriculture, Atmospheric Sciences, Climate, Earth Sciences, Environmental Education, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Public Health, Environmental Sciences, Forest Management, Meteorology, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Plant Sciences


weather stations, mesoscale, atmospheric observations, wet bulb globe temperature, open access data, quality control, decision making


Published: 2022-07-20 11:36

Last Updated: 2023-06-27 16:00

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:
We have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Data Availability (Reason not available):
There is no code or data associated with this paper. Additional tables and figures are included in the separate supplemental information at the end of the manuscript.