NOAA 03-R299-40
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Frank Martino, a longtime Cooperative Weather Observer, will receive the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) for providing weather observations for nearly 54 years. Top officials from the NWS forecast office in Upton, which forecasts for the New York City metropolitan area, will present the award to the Brooklyn resident this Sunday, 5:30 p.m. at Likourentzos Bay Plaza Restaurant, 2801 Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Michael Wyllie, the meteorologist in charge of the Upton forecast office, who will make the presentation to Martino, said “his consistent observations of the temperature and precipitation in Brooklyn has contributed to a greater understanding of climate trends in our area.”

The Jefferson Award, created in 1959, recognizes volunteer weather observers for outstanding achievements in the field of meteorological observation. The award highlights an extended record of quality observations, with many winners having served more than 50 years. Jefferson maintained an almost unbroken record of weather observations between 1776 and 1816.

Since January 1, 1950, Martino has been an official weather observer. But he began sending weather data - daily high and low temperatures, precipitation, wind speed and humidity - to the New York forecast office in 1947, from his family home when he was a teenager.

Martino’s years as a volunteer cooperative weather observer are filled with milestones. For example, after a heavy downpour of rain in Brooklyn on June 24, 1962, Martino was co-author for an article about the event that appeared in the August 1962 edition of Weatherwise magazine. Martino’s weather station received 6.54 inches of rain, of which 6.42 fell in three hours that day. In 1993, Martino received the John Companius Holm Award, the second-highest National Weather Service award, behind the Jefferson honor, for the cooperative observer program. Martino received the Edward H. Stoll Award in 2000 for serving 50 years as an observer.

The data Martino has collected over the years benefits other federal, state, and local agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, which use the information to assist in water and irrigation management. Weather data from the nation’s 11,000 volunteer cooperative weather observers ends up at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), in Asheville, N.C. The NCDC archives the data, which researchers use to study climate trends.

The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories and 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.

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.

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Editor’s Note:
For more information on the NOAA Weather Service Cooperative Weather Observer Program, visit: