A new weather reporting system will be installed at Methow Valley State Airport (S52) in Washington state in February.
The Washington State Department of Transportation will purchase and operate the weather reporting system, also known as an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS), for use at the airport in Winthrop and neighboring airports.
Once activated, the AWOS will broadcast weather information via radio to pilots flying in the Methow Valley and also provide flight planning information via telephone.
The closest AWOS to Winthrop is less than 30 miles to the east at the Omak Municipal Airport. Despite the short distance, Omak can experience significantly different weather than the Methow Valley due to the altitude and mountainous terrain that separates the two areas, according to state aviation officials.
Methow Valley State Airport is one of 16 airports that WSDOT operates, and is the only one eligible for federal funds. The airport is used for business travel, recreation and to support emergency operations such as summer wildfire response.