NOAA 2004-R205
Contact: Ron Trumbla
NOAA News Releases 2004
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NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) will present its John Campanius Holm Award to veteran weather observer William A. Sellers of Gainesville, Ga. Each year the coveted Holm Award is presented to 25 people who have performed exceptional volunteer service for at least twenty years as a weather observer. Sellers will be honored Jan. 8 in a ceremony at his home in Gainesville. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Sellers and the other recipients all share a common bond of dedication to their communities, NOAA’s National Weather Service and the nation,” said Bill Proenza, director of the National Weather Service, southern region. “Their commitment to excellence in the performance of their observation duties, is worthy of special recognition.”

Sellers’ interest in weather dates back to his grammar school days when he wrote weather-related articles for the local newspaper. Following service in World War II, he returned to Gainesville and worked as an announcer for radio station WDUN. One of his frequent interview subjects was Judge Sam Harben who had been the cooperative observer until his death in 1965 – when Sellers took over his duties.

During the next 38 years, Sellers continued to provide Weather Forecast Office Atlanta with timely, accurate weather data. Despite periods of inclement weather and risks to his health, he remained dedicated to observing and reporting his readings daily. When he suffered a stroke in 1992, his wife Miriam carried on in his stead.

In addition to his outstanding support of the NWS, he continues to write weather articles for the Gainesville Times and serves as an excellent source of weather information for local media. In spite of lingering effects of his stroke and other health concerns, Sellers continues to fulfill his responsibilities as the NWS official weather observer for Gainesville and the Hall County area.

The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program is more than 100 years old. Today, more than 11,000 dedicated observers across the nation continue the tradition of service that has provided the United States with an unparalleled record of historical climatological data.

Created in 1959, the Holm Award is named for a Lutheran minister, John Campanius Holm. Holm is the first person known to have taken systematic weather observations in the American Colonies. Working without instruments, Holm made his observations at a site near Wilmington, Del., from 1644 to 1645.

NOAA's National Weather Service (NOAA Weather Service) is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA 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. To learn more about NOAA Weather Service, please visit

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.

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