Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.)

April 23, 2008, Front page

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon



Local weather watchers honored with 10-year service award



Neillsville weather observers Kelly and Sandy Aderhold pose next to a rain gauge outside their home.  The couple was recently honored with a 10-year service award from the National Weather Service for their work. (Contributed By Peter Spicer/Clark County Press)



Although Neillsville residents Kelly and Sandy Aderhold knew little about maintaining daily climate records when they agreed to the task, the couple notched the 10-year weather-observation mark. 


The Aderholds recently received a 10-year service award in La Crosse from the National Weather Service (NWS) for their work in maintaining a daily climate record for Neillsville.


Sandy Aderhold, a life-long Neillsville resident, was encouraged by one of her neighbors, Phyllis Embke, to replace Embke as a weather observer.


The Aderholds agreed to the task in 1998 and contacted the NWS in La Crosse to learn about the process.


A NWS representative traveled to the Aderholds’ residence to teach them how to use and install equipment and walked them through the process of tabulating daily records.


It didn’t take long for the Aderholds to record severe weather.  Shortly after they began recording weather, a blizzard struck Neillsville.  Kelly Aderhold was in town helping plow roads the night of the storm while Sandy recorded the snowfall amounts.


Despite the storm, Sandy Aderhold stated she has witnessed "really nothing out of the ordinary" weather-wise over the last 10 years.


Gauges to measure rain, air and ground temperature and wind speed adorn the Aderholds’ yard.  Daily temperatures are fed to the Aderholds’ computers from outdoors. 


The Aderholds rise bright and early each day to record the weather - they start their daily schedules by sending the NWS data by 6:30 a.m.  Kelly Aderhold, a Wisconsin Rapids native, is employed by L & K Radiator Services and also drives truck; Kelly (Sandy) Aderhold is a day housekeeper for Marshfield Clinic.  If the Aderholds are going to be out of town and not able to record daily weather; they notify NWS.


The Aderholds also record maximum and minimum temperatures, reset thermometers and measure precipitation.


When snow falls - a frequent occurrence this past winter - the Aderholds measure it with a board that holds snow and keeps it from melting.  They also record the snow’s depth and density.


The NWS warns observers about possible large amounts of precipitation as severe weather approaches.


In addition to keeping records, the NWS uses compiled data to learn more about floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, as well as agricultural planning and assessment, engineering, environmental-impact assessment, utilities planning and litigation.


The Aderholds are two of over 11,000 cooperative weather observers throughout the nation participating in the nation’s largest volunteer network.


The Aderholds enjoy their roles as weather observers and describe the opportunity as an educational learning experience.