National Weather Service honors John Edgecombe Jr. of Geneva, NE

for outstanding service as a volunteer weather observer


On Wednesday, September 28th, NOAA's National Weather Service named Geneva, Nebraska weather observer John Edgecombe Jr. a 2011 recipient of the agency's prestigious John Campanius Holm Award for outstanding service to the Cooperative Weather Observer program. The award is presented to deserving cooperative weather observers from around the country. 

First and foremost, in order to receive this award, one must first become a Cooperative Weather Observer. The National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Observer Program is a unique partnership between the National Weather Service and citizen volunteers in every U.S. state and territory. The cooperative observer program has given scientists and researchers continuous weather data since the programs inception in 1890. Today, more than 11,000 volunteer observers participate in the nationwide program to provide daily reports on temperatures, precipitation, and other weather factors such as snow depth, river levels, and soil temperature.


The Holm Award is named after John Campanius, the first person known to have taken systematic weather observations, without the benefit of instruments, in the American colonies. He is considered by some to be the first weatherman in America because he kept a daily record of the weather in 1644 and 1645. The prestigious John Campanius Holm Award is granted each year to honor cooperative observers for outstanding accomplishments in the field of meteorological observations. No more than 25 awards across the nation are given annually. It is the second highest award given to the cooperative observers with the Thomas Jefferson Award being the highest.

In order to receive this award, an observer must be an outstanding cooperative weather observer for at least 20 years. An outstanding observer arranges for a backup observer to take the reports if they are gone and also makes the information available to local media sources. Not only are the weather reports important, but the observer must be involved in the local community as well.

Since August of 1978, John Edgecombe Jr. has reported temperature and precipitation data to the NWS office in Hastings. During those 33 years, John has not missed a single report, thanks to his network of family and friends who served as his backups. Over 12,000 observations were taken during this period. Even before John, weather observations for Geneva had been taken by the Edgecombe family since March of 1919.  As a family, they have measured over 2578 inches of liquid precipitation. John is already up to almost 1000 inches during his 33 year period. This is a combination of rain and the water equivalent of the snow that has fallen. That much liquid would cover a 21-story building. Over 1600 inches of snow have been measured, which would cover a 14-story building. The hottest temperature recorded was 118 degrees on 7/15/1934 with the coldest reading since 1919 being -26 degrees on 12/22/1989.

The NWS Hastings would like to send a big congratulations to

John Edgecombe Jr.

for receiving the John Campanius Holm Award.

Thank you for your extensive dedication and service!

John Edgecombe Jr. (left) listens as Meteorologist-in-Charge Steve Eddy (right) describes the Holm Award. John Edgecombe Jr. (center) with his plaque presented by Meteorologist-in-Charge Steve Eddy (left) and Data Acquisition Program Manager Marla Doxey (right). is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.