Automated Weather Observation System


AWOS, or the Automated Weather Observation System is used by pilots to tell them them imporant variables about the weather such as: visibility, ceiling (cloud base), wind speed and direction, altimeter setting (i.e. atmospheric pressure), temperature, and humidity, and precipitation.

AWOS is a class of automated weather observation systems that can publish their data over the FAA's National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN). From there the data is available to both aviation and weather forecasting/observing users. It is one of the best sources of real-time weather data on Campus.

A major supplier of AWOS systems is Allweather [WWW] located in Natomas. There are ex-Davisite engineers employed by Allweather and at least one Davis company supplies components for their systems.

The Davis AWOS, based at the University Airport is operated by the Transportation and Parking Services, and can be accessed via phone (530)754-6839, [WWW], or radio 119.025 MHz AM (part of the VHF Airband). It is an Allweather (formerly Qualimetrics) Model 900 AWOS in the AWOS III configuration. This means the following sensors are present:

METAR and Technical Information

METAR is a weather description format used over radio and internet by http or ftp. A good http client and parser for METAR is the metar project: [WWW] Although there are various nifty desktop applications that can pull this data and the National Weather Service does carry this feed, if you use it regularly, you will notice that there are odd gaps in the University Airport feed during which it doesn't update. It is not in the listings, so you'll have to find a way to insert the code KEDU (formerly 0O5) into the software. To read them manually (or just understand how they work), check out the [WWW]Weather Underground METAR FAQ.

If all else fails, KSMF is a very reliable feed and has a good METAR feed (forecasts and alerts). It is based at Sacramento International Airport, close enough for most weather information to be accurate for Davis as well.

Other local stations are:

There is a feed for Winters as well, but I don't have it in my notes. Anybody know it?

The AWOS observation broadcast on 119.025 is transmitted with AM modulation. Because of a peculiarity of the AM process, an FM receiver nearby can pick up the signal but with a very low volume.

What is a feed? RSS? Maybe you get this stuff over the internet, but if it is for small planes, radio, not internet is probably it's primary media, so we should explain about that if we are going to have all the other places. I thought it was fine just talking about the University Airport. If we are going to talk about the other airport weather stations we should explain a lot more about the FAA weather system, which I'm not sure we want to.-NickSchmalenberger

Is it just me, or does KSMF have an ASOS instead of an AWOS? —BrentLaabs

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