The National Weather Service has honored a Fremont, Neb., couple for their long service as weather observers by presenting to them the annual John Campanius Holm Award.
Larry and Sharon Martens have been collecting daily weather data for 24 years.
Each year, 25 people are selected to receive the award from among the nearly 10,000 weather observers nationally, according to Terry Landsvork of the Valley Office of the National Weather Service.
Volunteer observers help the weather service improve forecasts by providing real-world data, which is entered into supercomputers.
Their work also provides an accurate historical understanding of weather patterns.
The Martenses collect rainfall and snowfall totals and record the previous day's high and low temperatures. The work means trudging outdoors religiously to collect rain and snow amounts.
“We look at it as a service to the community,” Sharon Martens said.
The couple began collecting daily weather data in August 1989 when the previous volunteer was no longer able to do it.
The Martens also are amateur radio operators and provide storm information to the weather service during severe weather.