February 5th is National Weatherperson's Day
National Weatherperson's Day is a holiday observed on February 5 primarily in the United States. It recognizes individuals in the fields of meteorology, weather forecasting and broadcast meteorology, as well as volunteer storm spotters and observers. It is celebrated on the 5th to commemorate the birth of John Jeffries in 1744. Jeffries, a Boston physician and one of America's first weather observers, began taking daily weather observations in Boston in 1774. He took the first balloon weather observation over London in 1784. He carried a thermometer, a barometer, and a hygrometer to the height of 9000 feet.
Many of us take weather information for granted. Turn on a light switch, you get light. Turn on your television or radio, or check a web site and you get the weather forecast. It’s easy to forget that around the clock, dedicated meteorologists and weathercasters are vigilantly creating forecasts to help you plan your day, and issuing warnings to help keep you safe. This is a day to recognize the men and women who collectively provide Americans with the best weather, water, and climate forecasts and warning services of any nation.
The men and women at your local National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office gather the raw weather data, analyze the data, and study numerical computer models in order to issue the weather and river forecasts and warnings to protect life and property. Specialized marine and aviation forecasts help enhance the nation’s economy. Spot forecasts help firefighters control wildfires and emergency management officials contain hazardous chemical spills. Extensive climate records help engineers, architects, researchers, insurance companies and utilities.
Locally, the National Weather Service in Jackson serves 47 counties in central and portions of southern Mississippi, 2 counties in southeast Arkansas and 9 Northeast Louisiana parishes.
National Weather Service and its Partners
The NWS couldn't accomplish its mission without a diverse group of partners.
Nationwide, more than 11,000 volunteer Cooperative Observers take regular measurements of temperature, precipitation and other data, which is used by forecasters and climatologists. Nearly 300,000 volunteer storm spotters are trained by the NWS to provide visual reports of severe weather conditions to forecast offices and local emergency management officials. Volunteer amateur radio operators provide critical emergency communications during severe weather.
The Jackson NWS office has a network of 91 dedicated volunteer Cooperative Observers throughout Southeast Arkansas, Northeast Louisiana and Central Mississippi. In addition, there around 215 volunteer observers that participated through the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network. Lastly, numerous people attend Skywarn severe storm spotter training classes in the local area each year.
Most of the colorful weather graphics seen on television and in newspapers come from another member of the America's weather team. Commercial weather companies enhance the presentation of the NWS data and information for their clients in the media and in many weather-sensitive industries, and provide customized forecasts and services for clients.
Finally, television weathercasters are the most visible members of the America's weather team. They are the trusted faces many people turn to for weather information, and they relay the NWS’s official watches and warnings for hazardous weather.
On National Weatherman's Day, the NWS would like to thank all of the volunteers and our partners in television and commercial weather services. THANK YOU!