Being a NWS Co-Operative observer can be a fun yet demanding job. To provide accurate and complete weather data, observations are required seven days a week, 365 days a year. This does not mean that someone has to be monitoring the “weather” all the time; instruments are provided to monitor temperature and precipitation. However, someone should be available to record the daily maximum and minimum temperature, the precipitation, and snowfall. This generally is done around 7am, but observation times can be shifted to fit the observer’s schedule.

This information is recorded on-line via a computer or on a form then mailed monthly to NWS Seattle serving much of westernWashingtonfor quality assurance before forwarding to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) inAsheville,North Carolina.

Cooperative Observers are currently needed in the following locations:

–         Toledo(LewisCounty)

–         OceanShores(Grays HarborCounty)

–         (Grays HarborCounty)

–         PacificBeach(Grays HarborCounty)

–         WesternClallamCounty(e.g. –NeahBay,ClallamBay, Sekiu, Joyce)

–         NorthwestJeffersonCounty

What equipment do I use?

The placement [and type] of Cooperative Weather Observers are determined by the NCDC and the local NWS office. Generally cooperative stations are evenly spaced in relatively flat terrain (more than 20 miles apart) but may be closer together in hilly terrain or under special circumstances.

NWS staff deliver, set up and maintain the necessary equipment. Typically, the Co-Op station consists of a set of Maximum/Minimum thermometers or a Max/Min Temperature System (MMTS) and an 8 inch stainless steel rain gauge. Precipitation is measured by placing a calibrated stick into the tube, seeing where the water marks the stick and recording the value. Snow measurements are made at selected sites. At the end of each month, the forms are forwarded to NWS Seattle for quality assurance.

If you have additional questions, please contact Arthur Gaebel at (206)526-6095 ext 229 or email at  Art is the NWS Seattle Observing Program Leader.


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