February 5th is National Weatherperson’s Day, commemorating the birth of John Jeffries in 1744 who was one of America’s first weather observers. Jeffries began take daily weather observations in Boston in 1774 and took the first weather balloon observation in 1784.
National Weatherperson’s Day recognizes the men and women who collectively provide Americans with the best weather, water, and climate forecast and warning services in the world.
Many take weather information for granted. Turn on your TV or radio, check a web site or a smart phone app and you get a weather forecast. Behind those forecasts are dedicated meteorologists and weathercasters vigilantly helping you plan your day and issuing weather and flood warnings to help keep you safe, protecting lives and property.
Who provides your weather forecast information? It starts with your National Weather Service meteorologists working around the clock to gather weather data and forecast guidance to issue public weather, river, marine and aviation forecasts, climatic data used by engineers, utilities, researchers and more, forecasts to help firefighters control wildfires, and emergency management officials to address all kinds of hazards. The National Weather Service office in Seattle serves much of Western Washington, from the Canadian border to Lewis County and from the Cascade crest to 60 miles off the coast.
Others who provide weather information include 9000 volunteer Cooperative Observers who measure daily temperature and precipitation, 400,000 volunteer Skywarn weather spotters, thousands of volunteer amateur radio operators, and citizen observers in the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network.
In the North Sound, there are over a dozen Cooperative Observers that provide long-term daily weather observations mapping how our climate evolves, over 200 Skywarn weather spotters sharing event-driven significant weather reports, and 150 CoCoRaHS citizen observers providing daily precipitation reports including snow depths that you can view at cocorahs.org .
TV weather anchors are the most visible members of America’s weather team. Commercial weather companies provide tailor made forecast information for clients. They all use National Weather Service data to share forecast and warning information on TV, radio, the web and thru mobile apps. And finally, researchers develop ways to enhance forecast and warning accuracy further.
So on February 5th, National Weatherperson’s Day, give some love to your local weather authorities.