NOAA 2000-231
Contact: Keli Tarp


Okeene resident Shirley Koehn was recognized today for 25 years of exceptional volunteer service as a cooperative weather observer by National Weather Service representatives who presented her with a 25-year pin and certificate. She reports daily temperature and precipitation observations to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, continuing the weather observing started by her late husband, Victor, who was the NWS cooperative observer at Okeene for more than 20 years.

Koehn's reports become part of a record published monthly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center and provide long-term climate information for the entire meteorological research community. In addition, her measurements are used by forecasters in their day-to-day operations. When called upon, she provides for forecasters real time observations of weather as it is happening at any time of the day or night, especially severe weather reports.

"Mrs. Koehn and her late husband have provided an invaluable service to both the National Weather Service and their community for the past 25 years," said Dennis McCarthy, meteorologist-in-charge of the Norman office. "The information she provides is used not only by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers but also by the entire research community throughout the United States, including universities, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration."

More than 300 people in Oklahoma and 11,000 across the nation participate in the National Weather Service's cooperative observer program, which began about 100 years ago. Their information provides a historical climatological record for the United States.