Pilots traveling in the Winthrop area can now access a new weather reporting system — also known as an automated weather observing system (AWOS) — at www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/AllStateAirports/Winthrop_MethowValleyState.htm.
The newly installed AWOS is currently active and broadcasting weather conditions such as wind, rain and visibility to pilots in the area.
The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Aviation Division activated the AWOS at Methow Valley State Airport on Nov. 17. The Federal Aviation Administration then inspected, observed and commissioned the system before it became operational.
Prior to the installation of the AWOS, the closest weather reporting station to the Methow Valley was nearly 30 miles away to the east at the Omak Municipal Airport.
WSDOT heard from the aviation community about the need to provide real-time weather information in the Methow Valley. The first option considered was to reactivate a previously decommissioned privately owned system adjacent to the airport, but it was determined that acquiring a new system is a more cost-effective solution.
Pilots can access the system via radio or phone. Weather information is available by cockpit radio on 118.425 MHz from a distance of up to 60 miles. Alternatively, pilots may also listen to weather information by calling (509) 997-0142.