Tribe teams up with SDSU to bring live weather data
Through a cooperative effort with South Dakota State University and SDSU Extension, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe makes its newly upgraded weather station available to the public.
The only professional-grade weather station available in Moody County, this weather station is a member of the South Dakota Mesonet which publishes its live weather data online.
“Real-time weather monitoring is critical to many water and agricultural needs. This station provides the needed data for monitoring,” said Dr. Dennis Todey, South Dakota State Climatologist & SDSU Extension Climate Specialist.
Established in 2006
In 2006, the weather station was established in Flandreau, S.D., thanks to the efforts of Elizabeth Wakeman a Bureau of Indian Affairs Water Technician with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s Natural Resources Office.
Wakeman saw the need for weather monitoring in the Flandreau area, so she obtained training and procured equipment. “Water resources and weather play an important role in all of our lives and the station plays a critical role,” Wakeman said.
Wakeman later enlisted the help of SDSU Extension to make the data available in real time online. Recently, Wakeman teamed up with Nathan Edwards, the SDSU South Dakota Mesonet Manager to relocate and upgrade the station to improve its performance. This was accomplished with the financial support of East Dakota Water Development District and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The station updates every 10 minutes and is made available to the public at climate.sdstate.edu/mobile. Station data is fed continuously to the National Weather Service to help improve area forecasts, severe weather warnings and flood forecasting.
“In addition to improved public safety through better forecasts and warnings, the community benefits by being able to check local, live weather conditions,” Edwards said. “I would like to see more tribes and other communities served with these types of stations. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is really out ahead on this.”
The station will help with water issues of interest to the tribe and others in the Big Sioux River Basin. “Water is life and life is water,” Wakeman said. “We need to work together to make sure that we are taking care of this important resource.”