Cooperative Observer Program

This page is presented to honor the National Weather Service's Cooperative Weather Observers.

The 11,700 Cooperative Weather Observers across the United States, including those in the Weather Service Forecast Office, Tallahassee area, net the public more per dollar expended than any other government service in the world. Cooperative Weather Observers donate more than a million hours each year to obtain weather data. Observers provide the precious stream of weather information that we need to forecast the weather, issue weather warnings, and record the climates of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson envisioned a nationwide network of weather observers as early as 1797, when he outlined a plan for providing weather instruments to someone in every county of Virginia, so that a regular statewide record might be maintained.

A plan of this kind was not established until almost 100 years later when, in 1891, the Weather Bureau was charged with the task of "taking such meteorological observations as may be necessary to establish and record the climatic conditions of the United States." In compliance with these directions, the Weather Bureau relied heavily, as it does to this day, on voluntary Cooperative Observers.

Cooperative Weather Observers come from all walks of life; they may be farmers, ranchers, lawyers, storekeepers, ministers, teachers, construction workers, and retirees. Organizations such as radio and television stations, schools, and public utilities are also examples of places that may maintain a Cooperative Weather Station.

To learn more about the Cooperative Observer Program, click here.

On behalf of the National Weather Service personnel in Tallahassee we would like to say THANK YOU to all of our cooperative observers!


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