New Hope Resident Honored for 55 Years of Volunteer Weather Service
Take a walk with Steve Reckers through his yard and you can instantly sense his passion for the weather.
Reckers points at his backyard weather station he obtained from the National Weather Service in 1967.
“There’s free flow of air through it,” he pointed out. “That’s what they always use back before a lot of this automated equipment.”
It allows Reckers to record many measurements that he relays back to the National Weather Service as a volunteer weather observer. He takes measurements at 10:30 p.m. every night.
“At night I take the maxium, minimum, the current temperatue, any precipation, any snowfall, the soil temperature,” he rattled off. “It’s not work because I really enjoy doing it.”
Reckers says his love of weather began at a young age.
“Since I was 4 or 5 years old, hoping for snow this time of year,” he said.
It should be no surprise then that his favorite childhood gift was none other than an indoor-outdoor thermometer.
“Greatest gift I ever had,” smiled Reckers. “Bike might be next and baseball glove after that.”
Benjamin Franklin Award Recipient
Reckers’ lifelong passion resulted in receiving the National Weather Service’s Benjamin Franklin Award for 55 years of service. The length of service is a rare feat.
“There’s a few of us, not too many,” he laughed.
However, don’t ask his family to follow suit.
“I’ve been working on my grandkids,” he smiled. “But none of them are terribly interested in it.”
Reckers says his family does chip in when he’s out of town and unable to record data.
The 55th year of service turned out to be memorable in more ways than one. This year was historic in several ways for weather.
“Going back to November, December and then through the winter, I had 94 inches of snow in this location, at least going back to ’56 when records started here.”
That, followed by drought in the summer, then lots of rain this fall, and 2023 turned into a weather year for the ages.
“Go figure, it’s been an incredible year and warm,” said Reckers.
He doesn’t expect 2024 to be quite as crazy.
“Because of the El Nino, likely to be a little milder than normal,” said Reckers. “Last year was gangbusters. My back doesn’t want to see that again,” he laughed.