Henderson, TX (KETK) — The National Weather Service gave an East Texan their "most prestigious honor" for 2012. The award went to one of Henderson's very own volunteer weather observers.
Jessie Barnes has been a volunteer weather observer for the National Weather Service for nearly 40 years. Barnes said, "I just do it everyday i enjoy doing it and to see what the temperature was through the night and to see what it is during the day." The National Weather service says, "Without volunteers like Barnes, scientists could not accurately describe the climate."
Barnes says, "At seven in the morning I read the temperature and what the high is right then, and what the low." However, Barnes was awarded for more than just her temperature reports. Aaron Stevens, the Leader of the Observing Program, said, "The time that she had in, she had almost 40 years, and the consistency and the quality of her work over the years, she's just a wonderful lady."
Here at KETK, Meteorologist Katie Green says the weather is something everyone needs to know. Green said, "You need to know whether to grab an umbrella before you head out the door, or a coat and I think it's extremely fascinating which is why I did this and I'm sure that's why a lot of our weather watchers do this." But, Green agrees, it's not just up to your local meteorologist. "There's only so much our equipment can tell us, we know it's raining in some places, we can estimate how much rainfall is there but to know exactly how much rainfall is there we need someone who has a rain gage," said Green.
Barnes says she was surprised to win, yet honored. She said, "I said i can't believe I'm getting an award and he told me what it was and everything."
For more information on how to become a volunteer observer you can visit the National Weather Services website at: http://www.weather.gov/