The National Weather Service, as a part of its modernization effort, is implementing the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS). Much discussion has occurred about various aspects of ASOS versus the current system of manual and automated observations. Based upon a study of the ASOS specifications and an informal survey of potential ASOS winddata users, defects of the wind sampling and archival strategy chosen for ASOS are discussed in terms of their impact on various user groups. Limitations include: 1) hourly observation average periods that do not conform to international recommendations for wind reporting made by the World Meteorological Organization, 2) no regular archival of high-resolution data—potentially valuable research data are destroyed if not identified within a 12-h period, and 3) no emergency power for operation in severe weather conditions. An alternative sampling and archiving strategy is recommended that benefits a wider cross section of users, without detracting from aviation and forecast service requirements, at a cost of less than 1 % of the original ASOS portion of the weather service modernization budget.

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