NOAA 2001-R275
Contact: Marilu Trainor


A volunteer weather observer from Goldbutte, Mont., was today presented with a top award from the National Weather Service for maintaining continuous daily weather readings at the same site for almost 59 years. Albert Fey, 67, has provided weather readings since 1977 from his station 90 miles north of Great Falls. Mr. Fey has been recognized for expertly recording eastern Montana's severe weather. His father, the late Anthony Fey Jr., started recording the weather patterns at this site in 1942.

The award from the Department of Commerce's NOAA National Weather Service recognizes outstanding support of the agency's Cooperative Weather Observation Program.

"Data collected by Mr. Fey and other observers helps create and maintain the nation's historical weather records. His reports help define the weather patterns that occurred in north central Montana and provide scientists with a valuable climate record," said Meteorologist in Charge Ken Mielke, of the Great Falls Weather Service office. Mielke also noted that Fey is an official NWS storm spotter, reporting all severe weather events occurring in this area of Montana to the Great Falls forecast office.

Mielke presented Fey with the "John Campanius Holm Award" during a special ceremony today. This award was one of 25 granted nationally and the only one presented to a Montana cooperative weather observer this year.

Fey said the weather station was established in 1905 at the residence of Elmer A. Smith at the old town site in Goldbutte. After Smith moved in 1942, the station was taken over by Anthony Fey Jr., who maintained the station until July 1, 1977, when he retired. It was then that Albert took over the ranch and weather station.

Fey and his family have experienced many extreme weather events through the years. Temperatures have ranged from 46 degrees below zero (1968) to 105 degrees above (1961).

"In 1980, when Mt. St. Helen's erupted, the volcanic dust was as thick as fog the morning after," Albert Fey said. He also recalled August 22-24,1992 when 10 inches of snow fell and temperatures dropped just below freezing at night. Fey said, "It was a most unusual event!

The Cooperative Weather Observation Program consists of more than 11,000 volunteer observers who record temperature and precipitation data daily. The weather service provides and maintains the equipment used by this volunteer climatic and hydrologic network. For more information about the Cooperative Weather Observation Program, please visit

An agency of the Commerce Department' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NWS operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. To learn more, please visit