Agricultural applications of the Mesonet include improved insect and disease advisories, spraying recommendations, irrigation scheduling, frost protection, planting and harvesting recommendations and prescribed burn advisories. Agriculture is such a large Oklahoma industry that any increase in efficiency from more accurate environmental information can translate into several million dollars in statewide savings each year.
Natural resource applications of the Mesonet include guidance for the increasingly important practice of prescribed burning. One of the major uses of OK-FIRE is to provide such guidance, so that prescribed burns can be conducted in a safe and effective manner. Over a million acres per year are typically burned via prescribed fire in Oklahoma.
Mesonet data are valuable in the renewable energy industry. For example, with Mesonet data to guide their placement, wind and solar generators can provide a source of non-polluting, renewable energy. Long-term data can be gathered on the thermal properties of Oklahoma soils to help designers optimize the size and reduce the installation costs of ground coils used in ground-source heat pumps. Mesonet data are critical to a variety of operations in the electric utility industry. Industry officials use Mesonet data to help make real-time decisions to prepare for damaging weather, respond to downed power lines, and protect the safety of their field personnel. Research based on Mesonet data helps generation facilities make more accurate forecasts of electric load, which helps reduce unnecessary consumption and keep prices down.