National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Cooperative Observer Program


Cooperative Observer Background


Becoming a Cooperative Observer
  • Becoming an NWS Cooperative Observer volunteer requires the following:
  1. Dedication to public service
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Ability to lean and perform daily duties
  4. Willingness to allow NWS to place measuring instruments on your property
  5. Willingness to allow at least one visit per year from an NWS representative
  • Additionally, the following capabilities are useful but are not mandatory:
  1. Ownership of a personal computer with modem and familiarity with its basic uses
  2. Established internet access
  • If you are selected to become an official NWS Cooperative Station, the NWS will provide you with the training and supervision you will need to perform your duties. Depending on your stations instrumentation, your site will be visited once or twice every 12 months, and more often if unscheduled maintenance or training updates are required.


Cooperative Observer Sites in Our Area
  • Below is a list of the longest running Cooperative Observer sites in our area:


 Location  Time Active
 Clark, SD  1893-Present
 Highmore, SD  1893-Present
 Kennebec, SD  1893-Present
 Milbank, SD  1893-Present
 Castlewood, SD  1893-1898, 1906-present
 Gann Valley, SD  1897-Present
 Murdo, SD  1907-Present
 Pollock, SD  1908-Present
 Eureka. SD  1908-Present
 Onida, SD  1913-Present
 Britton, SD  1913-Present
 Artichoke Lake, MN  1917-Present


Cooperative Observer Awards


Cooperative Observer Reports