For 85 years Richard G. Hendrickson recorded weather. He died at the age of 103 on January 9, 2016.
He was a poultry and dairy farmer who recorded weather from a small weather station on his property in Bridgehampton, NY — South Fork of Long Island.
He was a weather watcher in the Cooperative Observer Program, now the National Weather Service — a network of 8,700 volunteers who record and report temperatures, wind speeds/directions, rainfalls, and snowfalls from all across the country.
These weather enthusiasts are following footsteps of Benjamin Franklin, who predicted weather in “Poor Richard’s Almanack”, and Thomas Jefferson, who maintained meticulous records of weather.
Mr. Hendrickson recorded weather twice a day starting when he was 17. He told the Associated Press, “I’ve been a farmer all my life. You don’t cut hay today and let it dry in the field if you know it’s gong to rain tomorrow.”
He retired in September 2015, had made over 150,000 weather readings during his weather-watching career, 1930-2015.
In 2004, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established the Richard G. Hendrickson Award for weather watchers who have completed 80 years of service. The first award recipient was Richard G. Hendrickson.