SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A Utah family is being recognized for their contributions to the National Weather Services’ Cooperative Observer Program. 

Launched in 1890, COOP is a nationwide program that invites community members to contribute observations of the climate everywhere across the country. More than 8,700 volunteers have since participated in the program. In Utah, some of the volunteers are generations of families who have been providing daily weather observations for the past 75 to 100 years.  

“These folks are incredible citizen scientists who get out there, we provide temperature and precipitation equipment for them, and they go out every single day and measure temperature highs and lows, and rain or snowfall,” said Lisa Verzella, observations program Leader with NWS.

Utah’s COOP network has over 100 weather stations across the state, including southwest Wyoming. 

The Lamb family in Plymouth is one of many volunteer families that have been taking observations for generations. Arnold Lamb remembers checking the weather station with his grandpa.  

“When I was just a little kid, I’d walk down, and he had it down by his garden,” Arnold Lamb said. “Every time he went to look at it, I’d go down with him.”

Arnold Lamb’s wife, D.D., now does most of the observations. They record precipitation for Plymouth. 

“Arnold’s mom wasn’t able to do it anymore, so I just kind of took over. I don’t know how I got to do it, but it’s not too bad,” D.D. said.

The COOP network provides valuable surface observations that track Utah’s climate trends. 

“It just became a network of consistent measurements for them, and for us to show what the climate was back then, how it may be changing in certain local, so we get an idea, not only across the state but across the whole country about how a particular region might be changing,” Verzella said. 

Verzella helps maintain the quality of the observations. 

“We’re really trying to maintain the quality and consistency of the observations,” she said. “A lot of our observers are getting older, in their 80’s and 90’s, so we’re hoping to just maintain the sites that we have.”

The COOP network is currently in need of observers in a few areas around the state. The areas they’re looking for are Hanksville, Marysvale, and Wellington.  

If you’re interested, you can find out more information here.  

For information on additional observation programs, visit The Community Coollaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.