How accurate are airport weather stations in forecasting weather for a town?



  1. 0 Votes

    Assuming you are asking about the automated weather stations operated across the US by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Weather Service, these stations do not forecast the weather; they merely report it. These automated systems fall into three types, the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), and Automated Weather Sensor System (AWSS), all of which are very similar. Their reporting is extremely accurate; for instance, their instruments can indicate atmospheric pressure with 99.98% accuracy. As for forecasting, well, only a human being can do that. Forecasting the weather is not so much different than any other fortune-telling enterprise; predicting the future from wind speed and barometric pressure probably has more in common with reading tea leaves and necromancy than most meteorologists would like to admit. That said, however, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency’s weather forecasts, which are created by humans based upon the reporting data from these automated stations, is surprisingly accurate most of the time. Chances are your local weather forecaster, when he or she reads the weather on the news, probably got most of their data from the NOAA or the National Weather Service.

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