Nonfederal Automated Weather Stations and Networks in the United States and Canada: A Preliminary Survey
Document Type Article
(c) AMS; used by permission.
Not all weather data are collected by federal agencies. Fueled by the need for more specific meteorological data in real or near-real time, the number of automated weather stations (AWSs) and AWS networks has expanded to the state and private sector over the past decade. This study employed a survey to determine the spatial extent and disposition of these nonfederal AWSs and AWS networks in the United States and Canada, the type of measurements taken, the operating procedures (i.e., maintenance and data-retrieval techniques), and the uses of the data (e.g., research, public service, agency needs). The rapid growth and expansion in the number of AWSs and networks can be viewed as a positive step toward expanding data available for meteorological research and service. As AWS networks continue to grow and expand in the United States and Canada, it is recommended that an AWS climatic database be established. With proper logistical coordination and the cooperation of network operators, development of such a database can become reality.