February 6, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

NOAA honors cooperative observers in virtual ceremony

Lisco will lose its weather observer this fall as Glennie Batt retires from NOAA’s National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program after 50 years.

“I’m 87 years old, and I decided that I did not need to be tramping around in the snow trying to get measurements,” Batt said.  

Her many years of commitment were noted at the recent NOAA National Weather Service virtual ceremony held on Oct. 24, to honor many of the citizens and institution volunteers. 

Batt and her family received not only the 50-year award but also the Heritage award.

“Glennie is always quick to provide support to the office in bouts of severe weather in and around the Lisco area,” said Richard Lamb, Observations Program Leader, at the weather forecasting office in North Platte. 

Batt didn’t begin her citizen volunteer career as a weather observer but as a North Platte river gauge recorder in Lisco. 

“Before automated gauges, Glennie and her family provided valuable information for the hydrologists in Omaha during flooding events in 1973, 1978, and 1983,” Lamb said. 

Batt and her family also recorded the North Platte’s highest recorded stage of 5.39 feet in December 1996. 

Batt took over from a gentleman retiring from the observations and, on occasion, would make her own weather predictions. One she remembers was an early snowstorm in October, and she predicted they wouldn’t have another one all winter.

“We had snow on the ground all winter that year,” she laughs. “You can’t really predict what’s going to happen.”

The National Weather Service also acknowledged the UNL High Plains Agriculture Laboratory in Sidney with the Honored Institution Award for 150 years of distinguished service.

While the lab has been taking observations since 1972. Rob Cox, National weather service meteorologist in charge in Cheyenne, Wyo. noted the recorded observations actually began in Ft. Sidney in 1872.

“The U.S. Post Hospital took observations for over 22 years. Then over the next 70 years, they were taken by various locations, including the railroad and private residences, before moving into the High Plains Agriculture Laboratory,” he said. 

The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program has provided scientists and researchers with vital observational data for more than a century. 

Source: Nebraska Regional News