The forecast for February 2016 shows a new weather reporting system coming to the Methow Valley State Airport. The Washington State Department of Transportation will purchase and operate the 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 required FAA airspace evaluation has been completed and the contract for purchase and installation is nearing completion. WSDOT is on track for the AWOS to be fully operational by February.
WSDOT listened to community feedback and investigated options for providing real-time weather information in the Methow Valley. 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.
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.