Curtis Cooperative Observer Honored

Lorinda Elson of Curtis receives an Award for 25 years of service from Meteorologist in Charge Brian Hirsch

Ms. Lorinda Elson, the Cooperative Weather Observer near Curtis in Frontier County received a 25 Year Length-of-Service Award and 25 Year Pin, from Brian Hirsch, Meteorologist-in-Charge and Observation Program Leader Mark Byrd, representing the National Weather Service office in North Platte, Nebraska.

Lorinda began her meritorious service as cooperative weather observer, on April 1st, 1985. Lorinda has a full service cooperative weather station, which incorporates an 8 inch rain gage and an MMTS (maximum/minimum temperature system) with a NIMBUS display readout.  Ms. Elson also has a Fischer Porter rain gage at her site, which recently was updated mechanically and electronically, to reflect the latest upgrades for this particular piece of equipment. Using this new equipment, Ms. Elson, has given up changing lengthy paper tape and learned to download that rainfall data to a memory card.

Ms. Elson provides her daily measurements of temperature, precipitation, snowfall, and snow depth to the National Weather Service each morning.  This information is then quality controlled by the North Platte National Weather Service staff and then broadcast state and nationwide and uploaded to the National Climatic Data Center. 

The daily records that Lorinda provides from rural Curtis, form a weather log of temperature, precipitation and snowfall data that is published by the National Climatic Data Center, and the High Plains Climatic Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. This type of volunteerism directly benefits the surrounding community by providing a official temperature and precipitation data for Curtis and Frontier County.  Data provided by cooperative observers like Lorinda, is used by the National Weather Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Geologic Survey, and numerous others both in the public and private sectors. This data eventually becomes a permanent part of the climatic record for the local area, and the nation. There are over 300 official volunteer cooperative weather observers in Nebraska and nearly 11,000 nationwide.

Cooperative Weather Observers are placed at private residences, farms, municipal facilities, utilities, dams, parks, game refuges, radio and television stations, and other locations.   The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the cooperative weather observers who have quietly and steadily built up what amounts to a priceless volume of data for their community, state, and country. The United States government, National Weather Service, and the Nebraska State Climatologist commend Lorinda, for doing such a fine job taking these meticulous observations, and disseminating the data.


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