Weather data agency looks for volunteers

The National Weather Service is looking for volunteers to monitor snowfall and climate in the Williamsport area.

For many years, that responsibility was taken up by Lena Anderson, who readily volunteered her time and energy – but Anderson, now 87 years old, is looking to hand over the reins.

“We’re looking for a patriotic individual to volunteer to take readings,” said Paul Head of the National Weather Service in State College. He added that Anderson volunteered again for this winter when an arrangement between the NWS and Emergency Management Services didn’t work out last year, but only until a more permanent replacement could be found.

Readings need to be taken three times per day: a 7 a.m. observation for morning climate, a 5 p.m. reading for news stations and media and a 10 p.m. reading for daily climate, said Head. The 10 p.m. reading, he added, is sent to the national archives. Taking readings at these times ensures that a full 24 hours of data is accounted for.

Those monitoring snowfall and climate must live within a 5-mile radius of the Montoursville airport so that the readings will be accurate, said Head. The ideal individual would be “a farmer or a retired person or someone who works from home,” he said, because the readings must be taken consistently and on schedule. Head said that individuals from areas like Williamsport, Montoursville, Faxon and Muncy would be eligible.

The position is on a volunteer basis. Interested individuals can contact Paul Head at the National Weather Service in State College at 814-231-2425.