With the installation of the Doppler Radar on the Grand Mesa in 1995, the NWS in Grand Junction put out a call for volunteer observers across Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. We wanted people on the ground to validate the radar’s precipitation estimates and severe weather signatures. Rain gauges, forms, and instructions were provided to people who were interested in helping us out. The people below have been taking daily readings, and mailing their monthly forms in since 1996.
|Blake Chatfield is from the Durango area. He is retired from advertising, publicity, and public relations in Hollywood CA. He has lived in the Durango area with his wife Pat for the past 18 years. He enjoys performing as a magician for birthday parties, corporate banquets, outdoor festivals, and other functions.|
George Chandler lives northwest of New Castle. He worked 20 years for the FAA in Prescott AZ and Eagle CO. Taking weather observations and pilot briefing were part of his duties. He enjoys watching theweather, especially the NWS Doppler Radar on the Grand Mesa. This picture is of a Peacock Bass caught in the Panama Canal.
|Sandy Young pioneered her way into Colorado from Wisconsin 26 years ago. She has worked outdoors most of her life. “Mother Nature and the weather dictate my life. There is no compromise. It builds character.” Sandy is a rancher who raises natural grass-finished beef and quality horse hay. Called the Seventy Seven Outfit since 1999, her business holds commercial guide and outfitter permits with the San Juan National Forest. You can visit Sandy’s outfit on line at www.77outfit.com|
|Peter VonSchaik was born in the Netherlands, and immigrated to Canada at the age of 20. He received a PhD in genetics from Purdue University and started a 29 year career with USDA. After retirement, he and Barbara moved to the Montrose area in 1993 to be closer to some of their children and grandchildren. They like the benign climate and general environment of the valley and the surrounding mountains.|
|Maureen Keilty takes observations for us west of Durango. She also writes about the Southwest’s people and places for newspapers and magazines. She has authored Best Hikes with Children in Colorado, and Best Hikes with Children in Utah.|
|The Zenobia Fire Lookout is in northwest Moffat county, and is staffed by the National Park Service from spring through fall.|
|Karen Risch in Ouray started out as a volunteer weather spotter, in addition to other volunteer activities. In 2006, longtime NWS Cooperative Observer Ed Thompson passed away. Karen was the logical choice to take over Ed’s duties. This entailed moving all the equipment to Karen’s yard, and showing her how some of the different equipment worked. The transition has gone smooth, and Karen is now the Cooperative Observer.|
The young fellow on the bike is Bob Aitken from Durango. He was the only 82 year young biker in the 4th of July parade. He’s a Kerry Democrat and a WWII marine veteran.