Linda Geist

ROCK PORT, Mo. – An upgraded University of Missouri weather station in Atchison County now provides real-time weather data.

The South Atchison weather station will give the agricultural community automated critical information, says Jim Crawford, director of the MU Graves-Chapple Extension and Education Center.

South Atchison is among the oldest of the 40 stations in the Missouri Mesonet network operated by MU Extension and partners, says John Travlos, co-manager of Missouri Mesonet.

“The weather station helps the agricultural community get timely information for planting and spraying,” Travlos says. “It provides environmental monitoring for agricultural decision-making. It gives five-minute updates of temperatures, dew point, humidity, wind speed and direction, 2- and 4-inch bare soil temperatures, and expected wind speeds and gusts. It also records time of sunrise and sunset and historical weather data.”

Midwest Data Center of Rock Port committed to run fiber to Graves-Chapple Center and provide ongoing internet service, making possible real-time reporting of precipitation, wind speed and other conditions.

Ribbon-cutting on the new facility is set for Aug. 22 during the center’s annual field day.

MU originally established the 200-acre Graves-Chapple Center more than 30 years ago to demonstrate and advocate for no-till farming practices.

“We are thrilled to partner with Midwest Data to bring the weather station to real-time status,” says Crawford. “Being able to access current local weather conditions is important for farmers and agribusinesses in the region so they can plan their field operations accordingly. We also want to thank the Missouri Legislature for providing initial funding for the weather station upgrade as well as the new facility. Both will be a great benefit for residents in the northwest region.”

Since 1992, MU Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources have operated the Missouri Mesonet. Learn more at