Project Information
Collaborative Research: Antarctic Automatic Weather Station Program
Start Date:
End Date:
Project Website(s)
The Antarctic Automatic Weather Station (AWS) network, first commenced in 1978, is the most extensive meteorological observing system on the Antarctic continent, approaching its 30th year at many of its key sites. Its prime focus as a long term observational record is vital to the measurement of the near surface climatology of the Antarctic atmosphere. AWS units measure air-temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction at a nominal surface height of 3m. Other parameters such as relative humidity and snow accumulation may also be taken. Observational data from the AWS are collected via the DCS Argos system aboard either NOAA or MetOp polar orbiting satellites and thus made available globally, in near real time via the GTS (Global Telecommunications System), to operational and synoptic weather forecasters. The surface observations from the AWS network also are often used to check on satellite and remote sensing observations, and the simulations of Global Climate Models (GCMs). Research instances of its use in this project include continued development of the climatology of the Antarctic atmosphere and surface wind studies of the Ross Ice Shelf. The AWS observations benefit the broader earth system science community, supporting research activities ranging from paleoclimate studies to penguin phenology.
Person Role
Lazzara, Matthew Investigator and contact
Cassano, John Investigator
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 0944018
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 0943952
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
1 (processed data)
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
Antarctic Meteorological Research and Data Center Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations ASCII exist
  1. Costanza, C. A., Lazzara, M. A., Keller, L. M., & Cassano, J. J. (2016). The surface climatology of the Ross Ice Shelf Antarctica. International Journal of Climatology, 36(15), 4929–4941. (doi:10.1002/joc.4681)
  2. Genthon, C., D. Six, V. Favier, M. Lazzara, and L. Keller "Atmospheric Temperature Measurement Biases on the Antarctic Plateau" Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology , v.28 , 2011 , p.1598 (doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-11-00095.1)
  3. Lazzara, M.A., LJ. Welhouse, J.E. Thom, J.J. Cassano, A.K. DeVivier, G.A. Weidner, L.M.Keller, and L. Kalnajs "Automatic Weather Station (AWS) Program operated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the 2011-2012 field season" Antarctic Records , v.57 , 2013 , p.125
  4. Bromwich,D.H., J.P. Nicolas, A.J. Monaghan, M.A. Lazzara, L.M. Keller, G.A. Weidner, and A.B. Wilson "Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth" Nature Geoscience , v.6 , 2013 , p.139 (doi:10.1038/NGEO1671)
  5. Colwell,S., L.M. Keller, M.A. Lazzara, and A. Setzer "[Antarctic] Surface manned and automatic weather station observations [in "State of the Climate in 2012]" Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society , v.94 , 2013 , p.S135
  6. Lazzara, M.A., G.A. Weidner, L.M. Keller, J.E. Thom, and J.J. Cassano "Antarctic automatic weather station program: 30 years of polar observations" Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society , v.93 , 2012 (doi:10.1175/BAMS- D-11-00015.1)
  7. Lazzara, M.A., L.J. Welhouse, J.E. Thom, J.J. Cassano, A.K. DuVivier, G.A. Weidner, L.M. Keller, and L. Kalnajs "Automatic weather station (AWS) program operated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the 2011-2012 field season. Antarctic Record" Antarctic Record , v.57 , 2013 , p.125
  8. Nigro, M.A., J.J. Cassano, M.A. Lazzara, and L.M. Keller "Case study of a barrier wind corner jet off the coast of the Prince Olav Mountains, Antarctica" Monthly Weather Review , v.140 , 2012 , p.2044 (doi:10.1175/MWR-D-11-00261.1)
  9. Nigro, Melissa A. and Cassano, John J. and Wille, Jonathan and Bromwich, David H. and Lazzara, Matthew A. "A Self-Organizing-Map-Based Evaluation of the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System Using Observations from a 30-m Instrumented Tower on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica" Weather and Forecasting , v.32 , 2017 (doi:10.1175/WAF-D-16-0084.1)
  10. Weber, Nicholas J. and Lazzara, Matthew A. and Keller, Linda M. and Cassano, John J. "The Extreme Wind Events in the Ross Island Region of Antarctica" Weather and Forecasting , v.31 , 2016 (doi:10.1175/WAF-D-15-0125.1)
  11. Welhouse, Lee J. and Lazzara, Matthew A. and Keller, Linda M. and Tripoli, Gregory J. and Hitchman, Matthew H. "Composite Analysis of the Effects of ENSO Events on Antarctica" Journal of Climate , v.29 , 2016 (doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0108.1)

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