Home > High Country Observer

High Country Observer


National Weather Service Riverton, WY
Volume 7 Issue 2, December 2003

Page 2





Winter Safety Kit Every Car Should Have:

  • Sand

  • Ice Scraper/Brush

  • Small Shovel

  • Tin can (to melt snow for water)

  • Waterproof matches

  • High-calorie, non-perishable food (peanuts, hard candy, and raisins)

  • Blankets/sleeping bags

  • Flashlight with extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Essential medicines

  • Knife

  • Extra clothing

  • Toilet tissue

  • Paper towels

  • Tool kit

  • Tow rope/chain

  • Battery cables

  • Water

  • Compass

  • Road maps

  • Candles

  • Bright cloth (red)

  • Cell phone

  • Coins for payphone

The COOP Corner

By Ralph Estell

Data Acquisition Program Manager


        First, the entire office staff and I would like to congratulate our two distinguished COOP observers for this year, Mr. Robert Bircher of Cody, and Mr. Harry King of rural Thermopolis.

        Mr. Bircher was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Award, for 33 years of dedication, for unusual and outstanding accomplishment in the field of meteorological observations in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson, pioneer weather observer and third President of the United States. A long time weather observer, it is said that the late president even supervised daily observations from his death bed.

        Mr. King was awarded the John Campanius Holm Award, for 27 years of dedication, for outstanding accomplishment in the field of meteorological observations in the tradition of (Rev.) John Campanius Holm, the earliest known systematic weather observer in North America (1644-1645). It is believed that Rev. Holm, a Presbyterian minister, had one of the first portable thermometers on the continent.

        Once again, congratulations, and THANKS to ALL of our observers. There are nearly 11,000 COOP observers across the country.  Annually, only ten observers receive the Jefferson Award while another 40 are chosen for the Holm Award, so competition is keen. Over the past five years, our observers have been honored with two Jefferson and seven Holm awards, which tells us, that the best COOP observers in the nation are right here in central and western Wyoming. THANKS!!!

        The holiday season is just around the corner, so we know SNOW is on its way. Now is the time to review some snow observation basics. First, bring the funnel of the precipitation gage and the measuring tube inside. With that done, remember that snow on the ground (what is on the ground right now) is measured to the nearest WHOLE inch, snowfall (what fell during the period...some melts, some settles, some blows away) is recorded to the nearest TENTH of an inch, and liquid content (the captured snow melted) is measured to the HUNDREDTH of an inch.

        As an example, at your site you have 3.7 inches of snow on the ground, 5,5 inches fell (some melted, and settled), and the snow in the gage melted to 0.61 inches. You would report 4 (round up since it was .5 or greater) inches on the ground, 5.5 inches fell, and 0.61 inches of liquid precip . As usual, if you have any questions, always feel free to call us. Stay SAFE, Stay WARM, and stay WEATHER AWARE.

NOTE...The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) would like to remind
all observers that a blank precipitation/snow entry on official weather
records (such as the B-91) will be noted as "MISSING". If you have no
snow or precip for the day, please put a 0 (zero) in that column space.
This way your valuable data will count, and not be marked as missing or


   Previous Page

Next Page  



USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.