Rochester, NY (WROC-TV) - Each day the National Weather Service tells us what the temperature is and how much rain or snowfall we've seen, but did you ever wonder who tells that information to the National Weather Service?
One of the sources for all of that information comes from a group of dedicated volunteers who record the weather carefully each and every day.
Meteorologist Josh Nichols took a little trip down the Thruway to visit one of these dedicated volunteer weather spotters who has been tracking our area's weather for decades.
His name is Brad Timerson, and he's lived in Newark, New York his entire life.
"I was born in Oaks Corners. My mother was an Oaks ", Timerson said. " Oaks Corners is named after either my fourth or fifth great grandfather".
His passion for weather and science, much like his family's roots in the area, run deep. In fact, they run all the way back to his childhood.
Brad's sister, Mary Timerson-Cook, vividly recalls some of that passion he showed while they were growing up. "I remember when I was 5 and he got his first telescope, and that was it, it was all over. A lot of time, looking at it, lookin' at the skies, and trying to get us interested in the skies," she said.
Brad is one of a few in our area that has kept weather records for our region consistently and thoroughly. He's documented every rain drop, every snow flake, and every rise and fall of the thermometer and barometer and his records date back decades.
"I have handwritten records that date back to the early 1980's. And by the mid 1980's, 1983 or 1984 I think, to be sure we had computers that could be used to summarize the information that we gathered each month."
Those records began while he was a teacher in the Newark school system. It was there he setup a weather station and connected it to a personal computer, which was a fairly advanced technique for the time. It was all part of a classroom activity at the time.
Fast forward to today, and that daily record of temperature, and precipitation continues unabated. The records are no longer handwritten. Instead, they are digitally collected on an electronic Davis weather station that connects to a personal computer at home.
Be it handwritten or digital, the vast amount of data is now a treasure trove of information that can be used in important weather and climate research projects that may be unique to area for years to come.
Despite all of that, Brad remains humble about his decades long data set simply because of his passion for science.
" I just enjoy nature", he said. "Astronomy is my other love and they just fit together. I mean I need the weather so I can figure out if I can do the astronomy!"
And so, Brad's weather station and that valuable data won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
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