The Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) at NWS Riverton
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The COOP program was formally created in 1890 under Organic Act. It's mission:
  • To provide observational meteorological data, usually consisting of daily maximum and minimum temperatures, snowfall, and 24-hour precipitation totals, required to define the climate of the United States and to help measure long-term climate changes.
  • To provide observational meteorological data in near real-time to support forecast, warning, and other public service programs of the NWS.
The first network of cooperative stations was set up as a result of an act of Congress in 1890 that established the Weather Bureau (which later became the NWS). While this date was formal beginning of the COOP program, citizens had been taking weather measurements to support operations, and increase their own understanding of the climate since well before that.  The earliest known recorded weather observations were taken by John Campanius Holm, without aid of instruments. His records were taken in 1644-45. Other notable weather observers include, but are not limited to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Quite impressively, Thomas Jefferson's weather records were almost unbroken between the years 1776 and 1816.

Because of their achievements, the current COOP program gives observer's two prestigious awards named after Holms and Jefferson.

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Details of the COOP Program

  • A cooperative station is a site where observations are taken, or other services rendered by volunteers or contractors.
  • Most COOP observers are volunteers, though a few are paid where specific types of services are needed.
  • COOP observers typically record temperatures and precipitation daily. These reports are gathered and sent to the National Climatic Data Center for analysis.
  • COOP observers are able to use the phone, computer, or mail to give their daily data.
  • The NWS will provide and maintain equipment at COOP sites, but observers may also use their own station, as long as it meets NWS equipment standards.
  • The official NWS COOP Program website is located at
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COOP Newsletter

The National Weather service provides a newsletter for its COOP participants in two formats - one for web viewing, and one which is of print quality. Please click the link below to visit the most recent, and archived copies of the COOP Newsletter:

Cooperative Observer Newsletter

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To enter your daily weather observations please visit the following site:

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