IWX Coop awards for 2009
Pandora, OH 60 year award
Ray Burkholder of Pandora, Ohio, received the Helmut E. Landsberg Award on Tuesday June 16, 2009 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) in recognition of his 60 years of service to the agency as a Cooperative Weather Observer. NOAA is an agency of the Commerce Department. Lynn Maximuk, Regional Director of the NOAA National Weather Service Central Region, Brentley Lothamer, Observation Program Leader at the NWS Northern Indiana office, and Mike Sabones, Meteorologist in Charge at the NWS Northern Indiana office 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 21,900 observations during his tenure.” , said Mike Sabones. 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, the Environmental Hero award in 2002, and the Benjamin Franklin Award in 2004. The Cooperative Weather Observer Program was established in the 1890s to provide data to the newly formed Weather Bureau, predecessor to the NWS. Today, the program comprises more than 11,000 volunteer observers, who record temperature and precipitation data daily.Burkholder has distinguished himself by joining such notable American pioneers as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who maintained early weather records. Jefferson kept an almost unbroken record of observations from 1776 through1816. Washington took his last weather observations just a few days before he died. Ben 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.The award is named after Helmut E. Landsberg (1906-1985) whose contributions had a profound influence in the fields of climatology and atmospheric science. Helmut E. Landsberg was largely responsible for establishing the nationwide climatological network as we know it today. 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, Brentley Lothamer, 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 60 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. The NOAA National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories and operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
Stryker, OH 45 year award
Mr. Frederick Clair has been taking weather observations for the National Weather Service since 1964 at his home in Stryker, OH. He was recently awarded the Dick Hagemeyer award for 45 years of weather observations. This award was established in honor of Dick Hagemeyer(1924-2001) whose career spanned 51 years with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and his last 20 years as Director of the Pacific Region. Prior to his Directorship, he served as a Substation Network Specialist/ Cooperative Program Manager. Precipitation readings and river level readings are recorded each day. Mr. Clair was asked in 1964 to take over the weather observations from a prior gentleman and was more than happy to. The Tiffin River runs right next to Mr. Clair’s home and the river gage used to be on the other side. The bridge right by his house was taken down in 1959 and for several years after that, Mr. Clair would go to the other side of the river by way of the next closest bridge. Eventually the river gage was moved over to Mr. Clair’s side of the river; but before this happened, Mr. Clair smiles and chuckles remembering during a few winters, falling through the ice covering the river on his way over to obtain the river reading. Mr. Clair also remembers in 1978 that there was so much snow on the ground, that the only way he knew where his truck was…was that he saw his CB antenna sticking up through the snow. One other observing memory that Mr. Clair shared was that the river has only been over the local road there twice. The first time the river was over the road was many years ago, and then the second time was earlier this year in 2009. Over the years he has recorded some high precipitation totals. For example, in August 1998 he recorded 6.83 inches of rainfall for just one month and in January 1999 he recorded 12.0 inches of snowfall for just one month. The data collected is 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. Pictured is Mr. Clair, center, accepting his 45 year award from Brentley Lothamer, left, Observation Program Leader at the Northern Indiana National Weather Service office and right, Michael Sabones, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Northern Indiana National Weather Service office.
Van Wert, OH 25 year award
Mr. Mike Hillery has been taking weather observations for the National Weather Service at the Van Wert Water Treatment Plant since 1984. Daily observations include maximum and minimum temperatures, rainfall, snowfall and water equivalent. He was already taking weather observations at the plant so it was an easy transition to begin to take weather observations for the National Weather Service. Over the years Mike has seen the evolution in the weather equipment used in taking the observations. One example of that is from obtaining the maximum and minimum temperatures from two thermometers to now obtaining those same measurements from a temperature sensor and digital readout display. In the early 1980s, Mike recalls that so much quarter sized hail fell from this one storm that you could take a shovel and shovel it off of the sidewalks. In June of 1988 a high temperature of 104 degrees was measured. July has had 3 years of 100+ max temperature recorded. On the other end of the temperature spectrum a temperature of -22 degrees was measured in January of 1985. January has had 3 years of -20 or colder. In August of 2007, 11.86 inches of rain was recorded. These observations are part of the continuous weather record reported at Van Wert, Ohio for the National Weather Service since 1914. 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 Van Wert Water Treatment Plant and Mr. Hillery. Pictured is Mr. Hillery accepting the 25 year award for the Van Wert Water Treatment Plant.
Garrett, IN 20 year award
Mr. Leonard Steward has been taking weather observations for the National Weather Service ever since he saw an ad in the paper in 1989. Twenty-four hour precipitation along with maximum and minimum temperatures is recorded each day. His observations are helping to continue weather observations at Garrett, IN for the National Weather Service since 1896. He recorded a high temperature of 99 degrees set back in July of 1999. A low temperature of -24 degrees was recorded in January 1994. Just this last January, 2009, he recorded a low temperature of -22 degrees. He also recorded 23.4 inches of snowfall back in January of 1999. The data collected is now able to be ingested daily into each new weather model run along with helping 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 thanks Mr. Steward for his continued dedication in taking weather observations. Pictured is Mr. Steward accepting his 20 year award.
Kendallville, IN 25 year award
Mr. John Marty has been taking weather observations for the National Weather Service in Kendallville, IN since 1984. Daily observations include rainfall, snowfall and snowfall water equivalent. The data collected is now able to be ingested daily into each new weather model run along with helping 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 Mr. Marty for his continued dedication in taking weather observations. Mr. Marty also is an avid ham radio operator and gathers in all sorts of weather observations from around the area to send in daily and gathers severe weather reports. Pictured is Mr. Marty accepting his 25 year length of service award from Brentley Lothamer…Observation Program Leader at the National Weather Service Northern Indiana office.