Located about four miles from campus, the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) at Plymouth Municipal Airport (K1P1) provides students, pilots, and other interested users with current weather information. The AWOS is a 30-foot steel tower containing a series of instruments designed to measure and record many meteorological variables. The system at K1P1 is an AWOS III-PT and has the ability to measure variables including wind speed, wind gust, wind direction, temperature, dew point, altimeter setting, visibility, precipitation, day/night, cloud height, sky condition, present weather, and lightning detection. These data are used by meteorologists, pilots, and flight dispatchers to monitor the weather conditions and provide essential information for flight takeoff and landing procedures.
Data collected by the AWOS at K1P1 are available to the public via radio, phone, and internet. Students at Plymouth State University use the AWOS as a source of up-to-date weather information that can be used in weather discussions and to make forecasts for Plymouth and the surrounding area. Also, students enrolled in the meteorology program learn about each of the sensors on the AWOS and are shown how the data is collected, processed, and distributed to the public.
The station is officially known as the Joseph Zabransky Weather Observation Station, which honors the emeritus professor for his nearly 25 years of service to Plymouth State. Dr. Zabransky had a great passion for meteorological instrumentation and was responsible for establishing the AWOS in 2005.