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ASOS-WX - Software for Extraction of Wind Data from ASOS Records

Photo: ASOS Station in Salinas, CA (Courtesy of NWS/NOAA)
ASOS-WX - MATLAB-based wind extraction software This is the download page for ASOS-WX, a MATLAB-based software tool for the extraction of wind and thunderstorm data from ASCII-format Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) data files, for use in extreme value analysis. Within the software, one or more ASOS files can be selected for analysis, and the software can then perform the following actions for all selected files:

  1. Extraction of peak gust wind data (speed, direction, and date/time)

  2. Extraction of thunderstorm reports (beginning and end times, manual thunderstorm observations)

  3. Classification of wind data as "Thunderstorm" and "Non-Thunderstorm" (to enable separate statistical analysis)

  4. Construction of data sets separated by specified minimum time intervals (to ensure statistical independence)

The selected output results are written as comma-delimited text files (*.csv), which can be readily opened in standard spreadsheet software for further analysis and plotting.

The ASOS-WX software, along with documentation, is available for download at the links below. More information about ASOS itself can be found in the ASOS User's Guide from NOAA, and ASCII-format ASOS records can be obtained directly from NOAA, for a fee. To enable users to evaluate this software, a sample ASOS record is provided for download at the link below, which contains of 13 months of data from Newark International Airport and 39 months of data from New York LaGuardia Airport.

Downloading Software and Sample Datasets
Create a Folder for All Files It is recommended that users create a single folder named "ASOS-WX" on their local hard drive in which to save all downloaded files and folders.
Requires Version 7 of MATLAB Software The ASOS-WX software was developed and tested in the Microsoft Windows environment using version 7 of MATLAB. It is believed that the MATLAB m-files can be ported to non-Windows (e.g., Linux/Unix) environments with minimal changes. However, the software will not run under version 6 of MATLAB since it makes use of features that were introduced with version 7.

If you do not have version 7 of MATLAB and you are running in the Windows 2000/XP environment, you can download and run the "stand-alone" file below. This contains a "compiled" version of the software.

File Formats In order to avoid individually downloading a large number of files, we have provided the files in archive format (i.e., only a single file has to be downloaded). Given that users may be running on different platforms and that some users may have firewalls that block the downloading of certain types of files, we have provided several alternatives for downloading.

Specifically, the following options are available:

  • The file may be provided as a self-extracting zip file. The advantages of this format are that the files are compresssed (which speeds downloading) and that no software is required to unpack the files. The disadvantages of this format are that they only work for Windows platforms and some firewalls disallow the downloading of files with a "EXE" file extension.

  • The files are provided as non-self-extracting zip files. The advantage of this format is that it can be unpacked on Unix/Linux platforms (use the "unzip" command) and it can possibly be downloaded on Windows sites that disallow "EXE" files. The disadvantage is that Windows users will need software (typically the WinZip software, but it is possible that other archiving software can also handle this format) to unpack the files.

  • If for some reason you are unable to either download or unpack the zip files, we provide links to the individual files. The advantages of this approach are that it should work in cases where the other formats are not feasible and that it allows you to selectively download files (e.g., you may want to only download a small subset of the sample data or pressure files). The disadvantage is that it can be tedious and slow to download all the files individually.

Files Available for Download You can download the following files for the ASOS-WX software:

Contact Information This software was developed by Franklin T. Lombardo and Joseph A. Main of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory at NIST. Please email questions or comments to
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Date created: 01/09/2006
Last updated: 04/26/2023
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