NWS Honors Beth and John Sundberg on September 26th



National Weather Service Honors Beth and John Sundberg

Volunteer Weather Observers For Outstanding Contributions over 41 Years

 Recognizing 41 years of dedication, NOAA’s National Weather Service has named Beth and John Sundberg, residents of Hayden, CO, as 2013 recipients of the agency’s Thomas Jefferson Award for outstanding service in the Cooperative Weather Observer program. The award is the agency’s most prestigious, and only five are presented this year to deserving cooperative weather observers from around the country

“Cooperative observers are the bedrock of weather data collection and analysis,” said Ben Moyer, meteorologist in charge of NOAA’s Grand Junction National Weather Service office. “Numerous 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 volunteer observers, scientists could not begin to adequately describe the climate of the United States. We cannot thank Beth and John enough for their years of service to America.”

Mr. Moyer will present the award during an 11 a.m. ceremony at the Hayden Congregational United Church of Christ on September 26th. John Kyle of the Grand Junction office nominated the Sundberg’s for the award.

The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Weather Observer Program is a unique partnership between the National Weather Service and citizen volunteers in every U.S. state and territory. The cooperative observer program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program’s inception in 1890. Today, more than 10,000 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. At the end of each month, observers send their records to the National Climatic Data Center for publication in “Climatological Data” or “Hourly Precipitation Data.”

The National Weather Service established the Hayden observing site on August 1st, 1919, reporting daily temperature and precipitation data, including snowfall, snow depth, to the Denver forecast office. The Sundberg reports have provided important data to forecasters, hydrologists and climate scientists. Over the years, the Sundberg’s have provided approximately 15,000 daily reports to the National Weather Service.
The first extensive network of cooperative stations was set up in the 1890s as a result of an 1890 act of Congress that established the U.S. Weather Bureau. Many of the stations have even longer histories. John Campanius Holm’s weather records, taken without benefit of instruments in 1644 and 1645, are the earliest known recorded observations in the United States.

 Many historic figures have maintained weather records, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson maintained an almost unbroken record of weather observations between 1776 and 1816, and Washington took weather observations just a few days before he died. The Jefferson and Holm awards are named for these weather observation pioneers.

 NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us online at weather.gov and on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


Contact: John Kyle 
(970) 243-7007

On the Web:
NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov
NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://weather.gov
NOAA’s National Weather Service, Grand Junction: http://www.weather.gov/gjt

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