The Three Rivers Clean Water Plant (CWP) – also known as the Wastewater Treatment Plant – and two of its operators have been recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for weather observations at the facility in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS).
Brentley Lothamer, Observing Program Leader with the NWS in Syracuse, Indiana, presented three framed certificates during the January 17th meeting of the Three Rivers City Commission. Two plant operators were honored for all of their hard work in making cooperative weather station observations regarding Three Rivers. James Shears was recognized for 20 years of such service and Joseph Madaras was honored for 15 years in that role. Lothamer also presented an ‘Institutional Award’ to James Baker, director of the Clean Water Plant, “in grateful recognition of 50 years of Weather Observations in cooperation with the National Weather Service.”
In notes prepared for the presentation, Lothamer said the COOP program in which the CWP participates was formally created in 1890 under the Organic Act and indicated that its mission is two-fold:
- To provide observational meteorological data, usually consisting of daily maximum and minimum temperatures, snowfall, and 24-hour precipitation totals, required to define the climate of the United States and to help measure long-term climate changes
- To provide observational meteorological data in near real-time to support forecast, warning and other public service programs of the NWS.
Among the tidbits shared by Lothamer:
- The local station began on January 1, 1896.
- The CWP/WWTP began on May 1, 1956.
- James Shears began in 1991 and Joseph Madaras in 1996.
- Approximately 20,061 observations for the CWP/WWTP through January 16th.
- Back in June of 1988, the plant recorded a high of 103 degrees and has recorded four days of 100+ degrees. In January 1994, a low of -23 degrees was recorded. The plant has recorded three months with lows of -20 and lower. The highest yearly precipitation was in 2011 at 47.46 inches and the lowest yearly precipitation was 21.59 inches in 1963. The highest seasonal (July – June) snowfall is 68.7 inches in 2007-2008.
For detailed NWS weather information for Three Rivers, click here.