Pictured from left are Raymond O'Keefe, Warning Coordination Meteorologist NWS Albany NY; Minnie L. Wainer, award recipient, and Timothy Scrom, Observing Program Leader NWS Albany NY.
"Cooperative observers are the bedrock of weather data collection and analysis", said Gene Auciello, Meteorologist in Charge, of the Albany weather forecast office. "Satellites, high-speed computers, mathematical models, and other 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 Mrs. Wainer enough for her years of service to America."
Mrs. Wainer began her record-keeping in Ellenville on July 1, 1957. At the end of each month, she submits daily rainfall and river level information measured at her home to the National Weather Service in Albany. This uninterrupted flow of weather data has proven critical for establishing a climate record of floods, droughts, and rainfall in Ellenville. This is Mrs. Wainer’s second National Weather Service award. On October 13, 1993 she received the John Campanius Holm Award for outstanding accomplishments in the field of cooperative observations.
The Stoll Award is given to observers who complete 50 years of continuous weather observations. The award is named for Edward H. Stoll, an observer in Elwood, Nebraska for over 76 years. He was the first to receive the award created in 1975.
The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Weather Observer Program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program’s inception more than a century ago. Today, some 11,700 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.
Many historic figures have also maintained weather records, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson maintained an almost unbroken record of weather observations between 1776 and 1816. Washington took weather observations until just a few days before he died.