Have you ever been curious how the National Weather Service (NWS) gets hourly observations for Elmira?
The Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) program is a joint effort of the NWS, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Defense (DOD). Across New York State there are a total of 27 ASOS sites; Pennsylvania has 23 sites. There are over 900 ASOS sites nationwide.
ASOS provides hourly updates, 365 days a year, on current weather conditions at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. Observations reported include dew point temperature, ambient temperature, pressure, precipitation accumulation, wind direction and speed, visual obstruction, and current weather impacting the airport.
The hourly observations are transmitted to the NWS Office in Binghamton, NY. The workers at the office decode the data, so it is easier for for airport personnel to understand it. Once the data is decoded it is then sent back to the airport. The benefit of having the ASOS station at the airport, human observers are able to edit the observations if for some reason the information is incorrect.