Coop Observer Honored with Length of Service Award


Clyde Kennedy of Granada, Colorado, marked Fifty-five years of faithful service tending a National Weather Service Cooperative Network rain gage, on December 1st 2010.

In honor of Mr. Kennedy’s long and dedicated service, representatives from the National Weather Service Forecast office in Pueblo presented him with a Benjamin Franklin Service Award, along with an engraved plaque commemorating Fifty-Five years of service as a Cooperative Observer, and a thank you letter signed by the Director of the National Weather Service, Dr. John L. Hayes, on February 25th, 2011. Meteorologist-in-Charge Jennifer Stark, accompanied by Hydro-Meteorological Technician Michael Nosko and Observing Program Leader Randall Gray had a very enjoyable visit with Clyde and his lovely wife Marie.

During Mr. Kennedy’s college days, he was asked to consider a career with the Weather Bureau in Cheyenne Wyoming, but opted to pursue accounting instead. Perhaps the first job offer was what planted the seed of interest in weather observing.

Clyde and Marie graciously shared other stories of their lives, including how they met in England during World War II, their long, full life together in Granada, and their many travels. Along with plenty of relaxed conversation, the party enjoyed lunch together at Shorty’s in Granada.

When Mr. Kennedy began caring for his rain gage in 1955, his duties were to mail a recorded chart of the previous week’s precipitation to the Weather Office in Denver. As technology changed, Mr. Kennedy’s rain gage also advanced into 1960’s technology with the introduction of the Fischer-Porter recording rain gage. This device punched a paper tape every fifteen minutes to record the amount of precipitation and the time during which it fell. Each month, Clyde still faithfully removes the punch tape and mails it to Pueblo, where it is evaluated and forwarded to Asheville, North Carolina. Once received in Asheville, the data becomes part of the Hourly Precipitation Network database and the national climatological record.

The Benjamin Franklin Service Award was named in honor of founding father Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Franklin’s invention of the lightning rod is a well known story, but he tried his hand at explaining various weather phenomena and at weather prediction. As Postmaster General, Franklin received weather reports from a network of observers along the coast, which was the first known record of tracking hurricanes.

The long and dedicated service of Clyde Kennedy of Granada, Colorado, is in the tradition of such luminaries as Ben Franklin, and is deeply appreciated by the National Weather Service in Pueblo. The hospitality and friendship of Clyde and Marie are also greatly valued by those who have met them and visited their home and weather station.

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