Left to right are Tim Burke, Byron Smith, Larry Ruthi and Mike Scott. Photo by Jesse Lee
Recognizing 26 years of service, the National Weather Service presented Byron Smith of Northwestern Morton County with a 2012 John Campanius Holm Award, for outstanding service in the Cooperative Weather Observer Program.
This award, named in honor of Lutheran minister John Campanius Holm, was the first person known to have taken systematic weather observations in the American Colonies during 1644 and 1645. Each year, around 25 cooperative observers nationwide are honored.
Larry Ruthi, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in Dodge City, presented the award to Mr. Smith at his farm on Wednesday, February 6th. Included were congratulatory letters from U. S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran as well as U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp. Also, in attendance from the National Weather Service were Meteorologist Tim Burke, Cooperative Program Manager Mike Scott and Observing Program Leader Jesse Lee.
Mr. Smith’s observing site 10 miles west-southwest of Richfield was officially established in January 1941 by Byron’s grandfather, John Smith, Sr. Byron took over the site on August 7th, 1986 from his uncle, John Smith, Jr. and has reported daily precipitation and snowfall information to the National Weather Service since that time. The Smith family has recorded this information for 72 years.