NOAA 03-R273
Contact: Marilu Trainor
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


Richard Slagle of Republic, Washington, today received the “John Campanius Holm Award”, a national honor, for his dedication to observing and reporting weather for almost 46 years. The award was presented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NOAA National Weather Service). NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce.

Mr. Slagle received his award at a ceremony at the Republic Community Library in Republic, Wash. The NOAA National Weather Service Western Region Deputy Regional Director, Jim Campbell traveled from Salt Lake City to make the presentation. Officials from the NOAA National Weather Service forecast office in Spokane, Wash., also attended the ceremony.

“We are pleased to recognize Dick Slagle as one of the nation’s top cooperative weather observers,” said Campbell. “For almost 46 years, his accurate and timely weather reports have played a critical role in defining the climate and rainfall patterns of Ferry County, and they have supported the National Weather Service forecasting and warning programs in north central Washington.”

Vickie Nadolski, NOAA National Weather Service 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. Slagle and other weather observers becomes part of the nation’s historical weather and climate archive. Dick Slagle has a long distinguished record as one of our observers and the Holm Award is one of the most prestigious awards presented each year by the NOAA National Weather Service. Mr. Slagle’s award was only one of 27 Holm Awards presented nationally this year. This is a great honor and we salute his years of service to the agency.”

Mr. Slagle was born in Republic on the 4th of July in 1919. He signed on as a cooperative weather observer in August 1957 and he has been dedicated to it ever since.

“Dick has provided dependable, accurate and timely weather observations that have helped define the climate near Republic, Washington for almost 46 years,” said John Livingston, Spokane meteorologist in charge. “From the heat waves of August 1967 and July 1994 to the big snows of January 1969, Dick has always understood the importance of good, accurate weather observations.”

Mr. Slagle graduated from Washington State University in 1942 with a degree in pharmacy. He served in the Army from 1942-1945 as a medic and pharmacist. Along with tours in France and Belgium, he was stationed in a field hospital near Normandie shortly after the D-Day invasion of June 1944.

Upon returning to Republic after the war, Mr. Slagle ran the Republic Drug Store with his brother until 1985. Through the years Mr. Slagle has been a civic leader, involved with organizations from the local chamber of commerce to the Boy Scouts. His involvement with the local historical society has earned him acclaim throughout the region.

Measuring and recording the weather has become more than a hobby for Mr. Slagle. In August 1957, when he agreed to take over from Mr. Tom Pittman, he said he would try the job for a while and see if he liked it. After almost 46 years of observing, Mr. Slagle is recognized as a local expert having observed a wide range of interesting weather. When asked about the most interesting events he had witnessed Mr. Slagle recalled the flooding of May 1998 when nearly 3 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, and all but one of the roads into Republic were washed out.

NOAA's National Weather Service (NOAA National Weather Service) is the primary source of weather and flood forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NOAA National Weather Service 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 our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:


NOAA National Weather Service:

NOAA National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program: