Swede Holmgren, Cooperative Weather Observer in Ellis, was presented with a 15-year length-of-service award Tuesday by Larry Ruthi, meteorologist-in-charge for the National Weather Service in Dodge City.

Holmgren has been the primary observer since 2002. He records precipitation and snowfall data. Jesse Lee, Observing Program Leader from Dodge City, was also in attendance for the presentation.

The Ellis station has been in existence since 1884 and was started by A. Moggart. There have been a few gaps where there was no data in the early days. Holmgren has been one of the longest-serving observers for Ellis.

The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Weather Observer Program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program’s inception more than a century ago. Today, nearly 10,000 volunteer observers participate in the nationwide program to provide daily reports on temperature, precipitation and other weather factors such as snow depth, river levels and soil temperature.

Satellites, high-speed computers, mathematical models and other technological breakthroughs have brought great benefits to the nation in terms of better forecasts and warnings. But without the century-long accumulation of accurate weather observations taken by dedicated volunteer observers, scientists could not begin to adequately describe the climate of the United States