Weather Observer Sets Record for Reliability

Richard G. Hendrickson called the National Weather Service on July 1, 1930, and told them the weather conditions at his father’s farm. And he continued to do so every day, beginning a volunteer job that continues today. Hendrickson has been reporting conditions from Bridgehampton, New York, for 84 years -a U.S. record.  

Twice a day, every day, he has recorded the temperature, precipitation and wind from the same area of Bridgehampton. He has been at it through 14 presidencies, 13 New York governorships and 14 mayoralties in that city 96 miles away. The Weather Service says he has taken more than 150,000 individual readings.

His is the longest continuous streak in the history of the Weather Service, which has 8,700 such volunteers nationwide, including 55 in the New York area. The agency says he is the first to serve for more than eight decades. And to answer the obvious question, yes, he has been known to take the occasional vacation. In his 20s, he went to New Zealand — “as far away as you can get,” he said. His mother filled in at the weather station.

In honor of Hendrickson’s service, the Weather Service has inaugurated the Richard G. Hendrickson Award, and made him the first recipient. Hendrickson is 101 years old, and continues to check the weather station at his farm twice a day. Read more about this remarkable man at the New York Times. -via Time

(Image credit: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times)


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If one guy being reliable is so unusual, what does that say about the reliability of all the other 8000 weather stations that supposedly report an overall warming trend?

I've seen a lot of these records, and the usual case is for the records to have enormous gaps (decades long, in many cases), or records taken at the wrong time of day, or any number of other errors.

It's a good thing we started using satellite data in the last few decades, as that's a whole lot more reliable than people recording at ground stations. Only trouble is, that means our only reliable global coverage of data is only a few decades old, so not enough to establish whether we're actually trending in any particular direction yet.
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