Brett Carlson, a cooperative weather observer of rural Bison, was presented with a 10 year length of service award on Friday, September 4th, by Jesse Lee, Observing Program Leader for the National Weather Service in Dodge City. Brett has recorded temperature and precipitation data, including snowfall, since 1999. The weather station began at LaCrosse back in 1890 by Dr. W.M. Goodwin. The site was moved to the Bison area in 1923 when William Crotinger took it over.
The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Weather Observer Program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program’s inception more than a century ago. Today, around 11,700 volunteer observers participate in the nationwide program to provide daily reports on temperature, precipitation and other weather factors such as snow depth, river levels and soil temperature.
Satellites, high-speed computers, mathematical models and other technological breakthroughs have brought great benefits to the nation in terms of better forecasts and warnings. But without the century-long accumulation of accurate weather observations taken by dedicated volunteer observers, scientists could not begin to adequately describe the climate of the United States.