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GSL and NCAR Scientists Mark 30 years of Daily Weather Observations in Boulder

April 06, 2020


On March 31, 2020, GSD’s John Brown and NCAR’s Matt Kelsch will mark 30 years of daily weather observations taken at the Boulder NWS Cooperative Observation Program (COOP) site at the Department of Commerce campus. The minimum length of time to establish a “climatology” for a site is 30 years.

Boulder had a long stretch of inconsistent weather observations due to location changes and staffing. This changed on April 1, 1990, when John and Matt launched the Boulder NWS COOP station on the NOAA campus. Since then, they have shared the responsibility of recording the high and low temperatures and precipitation (both rainfall and snowfall and water equivalent) at 5 PM MST/6 PM MDT every day for 30 years. For some heavy precipitation events, observations were taken twice daily by John and Matt.

If you assume each observation takes 30 minutes (some take longer, some less), then they will have devoted a collective total of 5479 hours (counting leap days) to the COOP project. On snowfall measurement days, the observation includes melting of snow to obtain the water content of that snow. This is more than a year of full-time work for each as volunteers to document Boulder’s weather history.
Congratulations on this milestone and thank you for your dedication!

For more information contact: Susan Cobb 303-497-5093