To view the data: North Dakota Ag Weather Network or NDAWN Central Minnesota Weather Network

To view crop evapotranspiration data: Irrigation Management Assistant
Daily crop water use data (also known as evapotranspiration) is a crucial piece of information that irrigators need to efficiently manage water. Weather station information is required to precisely estimate water use of the growing crop.
Map showing the locations of the 13 weather stations in the network. They are located in Pine Point, Hubbard, Perham, Wadena, Otter Tail, Parkers Prairie, Staples, Clarissa, Little Falls, Westport, Rice, Becker, and Hastings.
*There is an additional weather station in Holloway, Minnesota (Swift County). An updated map will be up soon.

Weather Data Collected and Uses

Weather station in a field.Through a partnership with the North Dakota Ag Weather Network (NDAWN), the MDA's weather stations are now integrated into the NDAWN crop modeling, air temperature inversion, potato blight, and mapping applications. In addition, weather information from the stations is now available in real-time (5 minute interval) via the NDAWN website and mobile application. The mobile application is called "NDAWN Inversion" and provides basic real-time weather information and air temperature inversion alerts. It is free to download at both the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

There are now 38 NDAWN and MDA weather stations in Central and northwestern Minnesota. The MDA installed and manages 14, while NDAWN has installed and manages 24.

Weather data collected Other information available
  • Total rainfall
  • Air temperature (max/min)
  • Wind direction
  • Wind speed
  • Peak gust
  • Relative humidity
  • Dew point temperature
  • Four-inch bare soil temperature
  • Solar radiation
  • NDAWN crop modeling
  • Daily estimated crop water use
  • Air temperature inversion
  • Various disease risk (potato blight, rust, cercospora, etc.)
  • Regional maps of weather data (current, hourly, daily, etc.)
  • Irrigation scheduling recommendation
  • Growing degree days

 

Expanding Access to Local Weather Data

The MDA partnered with the East Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Wadena SWCD, Pope County SWCD, Benton County SWCD and Dakota County SWCD to install weather stations across central Minnesota. The weather stations are placed in agricultural settings with the intent to provide data for agricultural producers and those involved with atmospheric research in this environment.

In 2023, the MDA received $3 million from the Clean Water Fund to expand the weather station network to agricultural areas statewide. The initial expansion of approximately 40 additional weather stations will occur in cooperation with several partners over the next two to three years.

Given the climatic variability across Minnesota, accurate and detailed local weather data within 20 miles of most agricultural areas is a goal of the project. Approximately 80 stations may be necessary to achieve this goal. The full expansion of the Minnesota Ag Weather Network (MAWN) will be completed in two phases.


Planned Expansion

The map below highlights the targeted expansion area. Final weather station locations are to be determined based on weather station siting criteria. If you are interested in hosting a weather station on your land, please complete the Minnesota Ag Weather Station Host Application. If you have any questions please reach out to Stefan Bischof at Stefan.Bischof@state.mn.us or 218-396-0720.

Map of the existing weather stations in Minnesota as part of the Minnesota Ag Weather Network (14), the North Dakota Ag Weather Network (24) and the University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Centers (6). The locations for the planned expansion sites are also included and listed as phase 1 (40) and phase 2 (40).