Polk Nebraska Cooperative Observer Receives 15 Year Length Of Service Award
Louise Logston Receives 15-Year Length of Service Award
The National Weather Service proudly presented Louise Logston with a 15-Year Length of Service Award. Louise continues the climate history for the Polk, Nebraska, area started in June of 1949. The gage was originally located at Citizens’ State Bank, where the employees read and reported the precipitation amounts. Looking back at the records, a few of the previous observers include: Dennis Johnson, Mirl Stewart, John Scott, Glenard Leverington and Eldon Johnson. When Dennis retired the station, the search was on for a new observer and home for the gage. Louise recounts how she just happened to walk into the post office and somehow walked out having been “volunteered” to continue the legacy. It is often said some of the best observers are the busiest people you will ever meet. Having known Louise for a number of years, I can attest to the fact she keeps busy with different jobs and interests. Under Louise’s watch, the Polk station now has an official climate database, as it takes 50 years of uninterrupted observations to compile a climate database for an area. It truly is a remarkable feat as these observations must be recorded every day. This amounts to over 5000 observations for Louise alone.
The earliest observations were phoned in to the weather office. Today, Louise sends her observations over the computer where it is automatically archived and sent back out in a variety of products compiled by the National Weather Service. The most common product is the mid morning issuance of the Regional Temperature and Precipitation Table for South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas. Reports of large hail, damaging winds and/or heavy rain are used to support the forecast and warning programs.
Since the equipment has been passed on to Louise, she has measured just over 400 inches of liquid precipitation and 365 inches of snow. The wettest year was 2007 with 37.87 inches and the driest year was 2002 with only 17.71 inches. So far this year, up until the end of August, Louise has recorded only 15.15 inches of precipitation.
Each morning, Louise faithfully records any precipitation that fell in the previous 24 hours. At the end of each month, her weather form is electronically downloaded by the National Weather Service in Hastings where it is quality controlled. After that it is electronically downloaded by the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The electronic system has reduced the number of paper copies and postage used each month. A copy is also sent to the Nebraska State Climatologist for publication. Louise is among an elite group of over ten thousand volunteers across the nation who record temperatures and/or precipitation every day. Climate data are used in every aspect of our national economy. Just a few of the many users are transportation companies, the insurance industry, agriculture, water resource and manufacturing.
Marla K. Doxey, Data Acquisition Program Manager for the Hastings National Weather Service Office