The National Weather Service has installed weather equipment to track temperatures and precipitation at the Corinth-Alcorn County Airport.
“This is considered a historic site,” said Memphis National Weather Service Observing Program Leader Kati McNeil. “It has been in use since 1882.”
At one time, the weather cooperative site was housed on the Mitchell Farm property in Kossuth.
McNeil and a team of forecasters from the NWS Memphis office and National Weather Service Huntsville Observations Program Leader Shelly Amin installed new weather reading equipment at the airport on Tuesday.
According to the NWS, a cooperative station is a site where observations are taken or other services are rendered by volunteers or contractors.
“What we’re putting in here is a temperature gauge to record the low and the high temperatures,” said McNeil. “We’re going to have two rain gauges.”
A Fischer-Porter rain gauge has a weighted bucket that records rainfall every 15 minutes.
“We will stick a flash drive in it once a month and record the rainfall for that month,” said McNeil.
Another 8-inch rain gauge will be checked daily.
“Records will be set using this data,” said Amin. “National Centers for Environmental Information use that to gauge normal temperatures. Drought will occur, disaster will be determined by this information.”
There are between 7,500 and 8,000 such sites across the country.
“The data will come in to our office daily, thanks to our helpers here,” said McNeil. “It helps with agriculture, it helps predict how high the rivers are going to go.”
The Alcorn County site is one of only 1,000 such historical weather sites in the country.
It pre-dates the first network of cooperative stations established by U.S. Congress in 1890. The first recorded weather observations were made by John Campanius Holm in 1644-45
“Subsequently many persons, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, maintained weather records,” the NWS stated in a release. “Thomas Jefferson maintained an almost unbroken record of weather observations between 1776 and 1816, and George Washington took his last observation just a few days before he died.”
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