NOAA 2004-R290
Contact: Greg Romano

NOAA News Releases 2004
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


Recognizing more than 36 years of service to America, NOAA’s National Weather Service has named Plain, Wash., resident Jean Moore as a 2004 recipient of the agency’s John Campanius Holm Award for outstanding service in the Cooperative Weather Observer Program. The award is the agency’s second most prestigious award and only 25 are presented each year nationwide. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Cooperative observers are the bedrock of weather data collection and analysis,” said retired Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Satellites, high-speed computers, mathematical models and other technological breakthroughs have brought great benefits to the nation in terms of better forecasts and warnings. But without the century-long accumulation of accurate weather observations taken by volunteer observers, scientists could not begin to adequately describe the climate of the United States. We cannot thank Mrs. Moore enough for her years of service to America.”

John Livingston, meteorologist in charge at the NOAA’s Spokane, Wash., Weather Forecast Office, will present the award to Moore during a ceremony at her home in Plain, Wash.

“We are pleased to recognize Jean Moore as one of the nation’s top cooperative weather observers,” Livingston said. “For more than 36 years, her accurate and timely weather reports have played a critical role in defining the climate and rainfall patterns of Chelan County, and supported the National Weather Service forecasting and warning programs in the northern Cascades of Washington.”

The NWS Cooperative Weather Observer Program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program’s inception more than a century ago. Today, some 11,700 volunteer observers participate in the nationwide program to provide daily reports on temperature, precipitation and other weather factors such as snow depth, river levels and soil temperature.

Moore came to Plain in the 1940s with her husband Troy after World War II. She signed on as a cooperative weather observer in April 1968, and has been dedicated to it ever since. After 36 years of observing, Moore is recognized as a local expert, having recorded a wide range of weather. Of special note was the 115 inches of snow that fell in December 1968, with more than 27 inches of new snow recorded on a single day.

Moore recalls that the daily weather observations have been a family duty over the years, including a grandson who started training at seven years old. At one time, the daily observation was completed at the same time the cow was milked.

“Jean Moore has a long and distinguished record as a weather observer, and the Holm Award is one of the most prestigious awards presented each year by NOAA’s National Weather Service, said Vickie Nadolski, NOAA’s National Weather Service Western Region director. “This is a great honor, and we salute her years of service to the agency.”

Weather records retain their importance as time goes by. Long and continuous records provide an accurate picture of a locale’s normal weather, and give climatologists and others a basis for predicting future trends. These data are invaluable for scientists studying floods, droughts and heat and cold waves. At the end of each month, observers mail their records to the National Climatic Data Center for publication in “Climatological Data” or “Hourly Precipitation Data,” both published by the NCDC.

The first extensive network of cooperative stations was formed as part of the newly established U.S. Weather Bureau, created in an 1890 Act of Congress. Many of the stations have even longer histories. The award is named after John Campanious Holm, whose weather records - taken without benefit of instruments in 1644 and 1645 - were the earliest known recorded observations in the United States.

Many historic figures have also maintained weather records, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson maintained an almost unbroken record of weather observations between 1776 and 1816, and Washington took weather observations just a few days before he died.

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather and flood forecasts and warnings, and weather, water and climate information for the United States and its territories. NOAA's 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.

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:


National Weather Service:

NWS Cooperative Observer Program: