(L - R) - Miami OPL Robert Ebaugh, Medora Krome and Miami MIC Pablo Santos (Photo: WFO Miami)
(January 16, 2013) -- The National Weather Service honored cooperative observer Medora Krome of Perrine, Fla. with its prestigious John Campanius Holm Award on January 11. The award recognized her for 23 years of recording weather observations.
Perrine observations have been utilized by farming interests in southern Dade County for decades, long before the Krome family formally joined the NWS Cooperative Observer Program. Medora's father, William H. Krome, began taking observations at the site in 1941, and officially joined the program in 1989. Medora has been recording and quality controlling the observations for this location ever since her father passed away.
"We are proud of the Krome family for its diligence in maintaining such a long-standing weather record in South Florida," said Pablo Santos, meteorologist-in-charge of the NWS forecast office in Miami. "The family's extraordinary public service will make a lasting contribution to support agriculture, transportation and commerce in the local communities."
Located at one of the last remaining family-run agricultural areas in southern Miami-Dade County, the Perrine observation site is the longest running individual/family cooperative site in the Miami office's South Florida county warning area. It is also the first in the area to receive the Holm award.
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."
The National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Observer Program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program's inception more than a century ago. Today, more than 10,000 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.
The first extensive network of cooperative stations was set up in the 1890s as a result of an 1890 act of Congress that established the U.S. Weather Bureau. Many of the stations have even longer histories. John Campanius Holm's 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. The Jefferson and Holm awards are named for these weather observation pioneers.