NOAA 03-R299-60
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marilu Trainor
12/10/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


BREDETTE, MONT., RESIDENT RECOGNIZED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FOR MORE THAN 37 YEARS OF OUTSTANDING SERVICE

Axel Larsen, of Bredette, Mont., recently received the John Campanius Holm Award, a national honor, for his dedication to observing and reporting weather for more than 37 years. The award was presented on Nov. 19, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) at a ceremony at the Sherman Inn in Wolf Point. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Julie Adolphson, meteorologist in charge at the NOAA’s National Weather Service office in Glasgow, presented the award to Larsen.

“We are thrilled to recognize Axel Larsen as one of the nation’s top cooperative weather observers,” said Adolphson. “His accurate and timely weather reports have played a critical role in defining the climate and rainfall patterns of northeast Montana. His observations have been important to our forecast process and we appreciate his support of the National Weather Service forecast and warning programs.”

Vickie Nadolski, NWS Western Region director, said, “The Cooperative Weather Observer Program is a nationwide network of 11,000 volunteers, who record temperature and precipitation each day. The information collected by Mr. Larson and other weather observers become part of the nation=s historical weather and climate archive.”

The Holm Award is one of the most prestigious awards presented each year by the NOAA’s National Weather Service. Larsen’s award was only one of 19 Holm Awards presented nationally this year. “This is a great honor and we salute his years of service to the agency,” added Nadolski.

Larsen has dutifully recorded climatic readings on NWS forms since September 1966, continuing a tradition of weather observations that started at the Bredette location in December on 1939. He is a non-paid COOP observer who has been providing an accurate and invaluable service to his local community and his country for 37 years.

Over the years, Larsen has successfully operated his large ranching and farming business on his own, along with his various other community obligations, and still finds time to keep his weather records up to date. Like so many dedicated COOP observers, he takes his weather observations seriously and with the utmost professionalism. When modernization efforts brought electronic temperature equipment to his station, he requested that the old thermometers be left in place as a backup. His observations noted that on occasions in adverse weather conditions when the newer technology was inoperative, he would brave the weather and manually take the maximum and minimum temperature observation using the old backups.

Adolphson said over the years, when Larsen has been asked to take on a new responsibility, the reply has always been “yes.” For example, Larsen was asked to send his observation reports to the Glasgow NWS office on a daily basis via a telephone reporting system. He accepted the new challenge with the understanding that his daily reports were for forecast verification, which would ultimately help to improve services to his community.

“Mr. Larsen’s commitment, dedication and professionalism have been proven time and again throughout a long career as a COOP observer. He has unselfishly volunteered his time and dedication to the National Weather Service, to the public, to his neighbors and that service can only be described as outstanding,” Adolphson said.

NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) is the primary source of weather and flood forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The 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.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service - http://www.nws.noaa.gov

NWS Cooperative Observer Program - http://www.coop.nws.noaa.gov