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APRS Weather Stations

The Cooperative Weather Observer Program

If you have an Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) weather station linked to your computer, along with internet access, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) encourages you to share your data. The Citizen Weather Observing Program (CWOP), a public-private partnership, provides a clearinghouse for citizen-based real-time weather data to be placed in the NOAA Mesonet database, making it available to the National Weather Service (NWS) and others.

The CWOP network (originally APRSWXNET) was developed by amateur radio operators as a means of sending weather data for research to NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) in Boulder, Colorado. Due to its value and success, the program was expanded to collect APRS weather station data via the internet from non-amateur radio licensed weather station owners as well. Today, over 2,000 registered CWOP stations provide real-time weather updates via weather station software, which is gathered by the main CWOP server every 15 minutes and forwarded to NOAA. After an initial quality check at the FSL, the data is then distributed to relevant educational institutions and governmental agencies, including NWS forecast offices, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Office of Homeland Security.

CWOP is NOAA's largest real-time weather observation system, complimenting the NWS Cooperative Observer and Skywarn Spotter programs. At local weather forecast offices, APRS weather station data can be easily displayed on NWS workstations with other types of data, such as radar and satellite. By providing real-time weather information from areas that currently lack observations, APRS weather stations help NWS forecasters gain a better understanding of local weather and the ability to more accurately predict future weather conditions. In addition, CWOP data assists forecasters in making more informed decisions concerning the issuance of potentially life-saving hazardous weather warnings.

If you would like to join the growing number of data-contributing members with APRS weather stations, please visit the Citizens Weather Observer Program.

All content on the WeatherShack Education Center is Copyright 2002-2020 This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without the express prior written permission of For permission, please contact [email protected].

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