Where do we get our weather data?

Weather forecasting stems from being able to record data. Weather stations around the world record data from temperatures and dew points to cloud cover and precipitation. Supercomputers use this data and certain equations to help humans forecast the weather.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S. issues three or four digit numbers for airports in order to identify where this data comes from. Charlottesville is CHO. Stations names usually represent something close to what they resemble with letters. As of June 2013 there are 5,431 stations acknowledged by the FAA.

Some notable stations around Central Virginia are:
Gordonsville Municipal Airport: KGVE
Orange County Airport: KOMH
Shenandoah County Airport: KSHD
Louisa County Airport: KLKU

The standard weather station is called an Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) and measures
1. Temperature and Dew Point
2. Sky cover
3. Any weather phenomena (rain, snow, lightning etc.)
4. Precipitation
5. Pressure and pressure trends
6. Visibility
7. Wind speeds
8. Other miscellaneous observations like high and low temperatures and cloud base heights

NOAA is a great resource to find hour by hour data. Want to know how warm we got yesterday? Here is a link to Charlottesville-Albemarle airport data:

You can learn more about ASOS stations here:

Some interesting information about KCHO can be found here:

As more stations are created around the world we will have a better grasp on what we can expect for the weather tomorrow!

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