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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published January 09 2013

Weather Talk: Automatic weather reporting sites added to small North Dakota airports

In the past few years the state of North Dakota has added several automatic weather reporting sites to smaller airports. Places such as Valley City, Rugby, Cooperstown, Langdon, Walhalla and Oakes, among others, now have what is referred to as an AWOS (Automatic Weather Observation Station) at their airports.

These sites were paid for by the state and are maintained by All Weather Inc., based in Sacramento, Calif. These sites give pilots much better local information, and the data also greatly benefit the Department of Transportation, the public and meteorologists.

AWOS sites differ slightly from what the larger airports use. For example, the equipment at Hector International Airport in Fargo is more sophisticated and is operated by the National Weather Service rather than the state. The Fargo Airport Authority provides the land for the device but has no control over it and is not responsible for maintaining it. The weather service takes care of the maintenance, which is also the case at most other larger airports in the country.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com, or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at stormtrack.areavoices.com