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National Weather Service Recognizes St. Croix Resident for Over 40 Years of Volunteer Weather Observations

From left, Ernesto Morales, a warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS, presents St. Croix resident Roy Frederiksen with the John Campanius Holm Award in recognition of exceptional volunteer meteorological work. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Over the last 40 years, Roy Frederiksen, a resident of St. Croix, has been part of the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (NWS COOP) with an exemplary record of daily precipitation data. His station is located at his home on St. Croix.

Due to his commitment and responsibility, he received the John Campanius Holm Award, a distinguished award from the National Weather Service in recognition of exceptional volunteer meteorological work. The Holm Award is one of the most prestigious awards given to Cooperative Weather Observers to honor the observers with outstanding accomplishments in meteorological observations.

The NWS COOP Program is the nation’s official weather observing network composed of volunteers that dedicate time to report meteorological data. The data is used for research about floods, heat and cold waves, droughts, agricultural planning, engineering, among other purposes and projects.

Frederiksen is a meritorious observer who worked with his family during his earlier years in a sheep farm on St. Croix. His father, a former COOP observer, was a U.S. Department of Agriculture worker who taught his children the importance of weather and climate. As a child, Frederiksen helped his father with the collection of precipitation data. After Frederiksen’s retirement from the U.S. Air Force, he continued with the commitment of reporting daily precipitation data. He has achieved and contributed uninterrupted records of data from the station for over 40 years.

From left, Chris Moore, Hurricane Program Manager with FEMA Region Two, Ernesto Morales, a warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS, St. Croix resident Roy Frederiksen, and Daryl Jaschen, the director of the VITEMA. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

The data obtained from East Hill, St. Croix, is extremely important for the NWS office in San Juan, Puerto Rico because the information is used as a backup for radar rainfall estimates. Given that the data is remarkably reliable, the U.S. Drought Monitor, as well as the climate focal point, use the data for their reports with uttermost confidence. Over the past 20 years, the number of missing days has been particularly small (about 5 percent), most of them likely to be associated with equipment failure or malfunction. The data retrieved by Frederiksen is key to corroborate the data from the radar.

On Tuesday, Frederiksen was presented with the meritorious John Campanius Holm Award from the NWS Weather Forecast Office, San Juan, Puerto Rico, by Warning Coordination Meteorologist Ernesto Morales. Morales was accompanied by Daryl Jaschen, the director of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, and Chris Moore, the Hurricane Program Manager with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region Two.

We are thankful for Roy Frederiksen’s commitment and exemplary contribution to the COOP Program!


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