2018-10-06 / Front Page

Dean of weather observers has seen it all


Henry Lush is joined by four of his grandchildren at a recent family celebration. Perhaps another National Weather Service observer will emerge from that generation. Henry has already arranged for his daughter Alyson to succeed him when his service concludes. He has recorded the Galeton area weather statistics for nearly 50 years. Henry Lush is joined by four of his grandchildren at a recent family celebration. Perhaps another National Weather Service observer will emerge from that generation. Henry has already arranged for his daughter Alyson to succeed him when his service concludes. He has recorded the Galeton area weather statistics for nearly 50 years. Long-time Galeton area weather observer Henry Lush has seen it all during his volunteer service to the National Weather Service.

But his observations for September included an interesting and rare superlative – “I’ve never seen grass grow so fast.” He was alluding to the heavy volume of rainfall that he measured and reported in his monthly summary.

“This year, we received 8.89 inches of rainfall in September,” Lush reported. “Last year, the total was 2.27 inches. Average rainfall for the month is 4.02 inches.”

Nearly three inches fell Sept. 11-12, followed by 2.45 inches from the fringe of Hurricane Florence and another 1.82-inch drenching at the end of the month.

Lush, recipient of the prestigious National Weather Service Thomas Jefferson Award for his dedication to the Cooperative Weather Observer Program, has served for nearly 50 years.

“Henry, a local historian-scientist, maintains a small museum in Galeton of historical treasures that span over 100 years, including his grandfather’s original weather records from 1931,” said Bruce Budd, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in State College. “Weather observing is a Lush family tradition that has continued for nearly 90 years.”

The Thomas Jefferson Award recognizes the important role of volunteer citizen weather observers in advancing weather and climate forecasting accuracy and understanding of the earth’s atmosphere.

Lush said that when he retires as a Galeton weather observer, the family legacy will continue through his daughter, Alyson.

NOAA is recruiting more volunteer weather observers. The agency trains people and provides equipment. Find out more online by visiting nws.noaa.gov.

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