National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Department of Commerce Service Award
Mr. Clay Miller of Valentine, Texas


photo of Valentine, Texas cooperative observer
Susan Spears and Mr. Clay Miller
Photo by Pat Vesper


On April 21, 2005, Susan Spears and Pat Vesper of the National Weather Service, Midland/Odessa presented a Department of Commerce Service Award to Mr. Clay Miller of Valentine, Texas.

On April 1, 1936, C.E. Miller, a rancher living 10 miles west southwest of Valentine, made a decision to volunteer time as a cooperative observer for what was then called the U.S. Weather Bureau. Each day, Mr. Miller recorded observations and forwarded those observations to the Weather Bureau in Kansas City.

After 24 years of dedicated daily service to the Weather Bureau, Mr. Miller passed away, and his son Clay Miller Jr., agreed to continue being the Valentine cooperative observer. On March 13, 1960, Clay Miller Jr. officially became the cooperative observer for the Valentine area, and for the last 45 years, Mr. Miller has provided the U.S. Weather Bureau, now known as the National Weather Service, with daily records of precipitation.

To present day, for over 16,000 days, Mr. Miller has volunteered his time gathering vital weather information for the Valentine area. This information has benefited those doing research of global climate change. Additionally, it has been utilized by attorneys, insurance companies, meteorological consultants, private businesses, utility companies, universities, those with interests related to transportation and agriculture, and by the print and broadcast media. The contributions made by Clay Miller Jr., and previously by his father, have been quite significant. Not only have the people of west Texas benefited from their effort, the entire country has benefited.

In dedication of 45 years of consecutive service as a cooperative observer, Susan Griffin and Pat Vesper from the National Weather Service in Midland recently visited Clay Miller at his ranch, to present him with a special Department of Commerce/NOAA Service Award for his long time dedication to the NWS. Mr. Miller, congratulations on this great accomplishment and thank you to the Miller family for their support the National Weather Service the last 69 years.