Data from Automatic Weather Stations in Antarctica

The AWS platforms acquire temperature, pressure, humidity and wind data continuously, and transmit these data to the ARGOS series of polar-orbiting satellites. The data is then relayed to ground stations around the world as well as to the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin for retrieval, quality control, dissemination and analysis.

Top Illustration: Data from AWS platform 8907 located south of Ross Island on the Ross Ice Shelf at a location called "Ferrell" (see map below). These data document a discontinuity in the meteorological variables coincident with a strong frontal passage. This type of information is critical to the flight forecasting operations at McMurdo Station and Christchurch New Zealand, which require timely weather data in the planning for flights to and around the Antarctic Continent.

Center Illustration: A multiyear comparison of temperatures obtained from the manned station at the South Pole with the unmanned AWS platform at Dome C.

Lower Illustration: June 1984 Climatological summary for the AWS platforms located in the vicinity of Ross Island.

Mike Savage