IWX Coop Awards for 2004



Ray Burkholder and NWS Staff   Benjamin Franklin Award  Ray's Previous COOP Awards

Congratulations Sign   Ray Burkholder accepting the Benjamin Franklin Award   Pandora Ohio award cake

Ray Burkholder of Pandora, Ohio, received the Benjamin Franklin Award from the National Weather Service (NWS) in recognition of his 55 years of service to the agency as a Cooperative Weather Observer. Gary Foltz, Deputy Director of the NOAA National Weather Service Central Region, presented the award at a family gathering in Pandora. “Cooperative weather observers provide a valuable service to our agency, our nation and the people who rely on their information. They’ve given dependable, accurate and timely weather observations that have defined the climate around northwest Ohio since December 1949. We estimate he has taken nearly 20,000 observations during his tenure.” said Mike Sabones, Meteorologist in Charge of the Northern Indiana NWS Forecast Office that serves northwest Ohio. Burkholder has received several other NOAA Weather Service cooperative observer honors for length of service and for his contributions to the agency. These include the John Campanius Holm Award in 1976, the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1984, the Stoll Award in 1999, and the Environmental Hero award in 2002. Foltz noted that Burkholder has distinguished himself by joining such notable American pioneers as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who maintained early weather records. The award is named after Ben Franklin. Franklin was probably the first person to track a hurricane along the Atlantic Coast by using a network of observers. He was Postmaster General in 1743 and was able to get weather reports from postmasters along the coast. Foltz also noted, “Burkholder personifies the conscientious and unselfish weather observers imagined by Thomas Jefferson when he envisioned a weather network across the United States. Clearly, he deserves the recognition this award bestows for the life long contribution to the nation’s climate record and this community.”  NWS Northern Indiana’s cooperative program manager, Terry Click, said, “Cooperative observers record weather at the same time every day and enter data for temperature, precipitation, snowfall and snow depth. Mr. Burkholder has recorded 55 years of data which are now a permanent part of the nation’s climate record.”  Burkholder has served on the area school board, was president of both the Pandora Medical Center and the Mennonite Disaster Relief Service of Western Ohio. He has supplied many area newspapers with weather data. Data collected by Burkholder benefits other federal, state, and local agencies including the  U. S. Geological Survey, and the U. S. Corp of Engineers which use the information to assist in water management.        


Coldwater, MI 50 year award

Coldwater, MI 50 year award    The Coldwater Wastewater Treatment Plant has been taking weather observations for the National Weather Service for 50 years. An automatic rain gage collects rainfall/melted snowfall data every 15 minutes. Then every month the data is downloaded from the gage and sent to the Northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service. The data is also used to build a climatic database of the United States. The National Weather Service Cooperative Program spans all 50 states…collecting weather observations from numerous volunteer weather observers for the climate database, weather forecasts, and for the protection of life and property. The National Weather Service is very grateful to weather observers like the Coldwater Wastewater Treatment Plant. Pictured is Mr. Keith Foote (L) and Paul Pann (R) accepting their 50 Year Length of Service Award for the Coldwater Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Warsaw, IN 50 year award 

Warsaw Waste Water Treatment plant 50 year award   The employees at the Warsaw Wastewater Treatment Plant have been taking weather observations for the National Weather Service since 1954. Daily observations include maximum and minimum temperatures, rainfall, snowfall, and snowfall water equivalent.  In July of 1976 a high temperature of 103 degrees was recorded. A high temperature of 102 degrees was recorded in June 1988 and a high of 100 degrees was recorded in September of 1954. On the other end of the thermometer, a low temperature of -25 degrees was recorded in January of 1972, 1982, and 1985. In September of 1958, 5.67 inches of rainfall was recorded. In January 1984, 18.6 inches of snowfall was recorded. These observations are part of the continuous weather record reported at Warsaw, Indiana for the National Weather Service since 1908. The data collected is ingested daily into each new weather model run, and helps to paint an aerial picture of how much rainfall/snowfall has fallen in the area. The data is also used to build a climatic database of the United States. The National Weather Service is very grateful to weather observers like the Warsaw Wastewater Treatment Plant. Pictured are (L-R) Dan Risner and Ken Murphy accepting the 50 Year Length of Service Award for the Warsaw Waste Water Plant.

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