Collie honored for 65 year contribution to Weather Observer Program

   NOAA’s National Weather Service has named Alex G. Collie of MacKenzie a recipient of the agency’s General Albert J. Myer Award for 65 years of outstanding service in the Cooperative Weather Observer Program. Mr. Collie is the longest serving Cooperative Weather Observer ever in the state of Montana. The award is named for Albert J. Myer of Eagle Pass, Texas, often called the “father” of the U.S. meteorological services. He was appointed to establish and direct the Division of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce, now known as the National Weather Service.

   Rusty Billingsley, deputy director, National Weather Service Western Region, and Keith Meier, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in Billings presented the award to Collie during a ceremony held Nov. 4 at the Rib and Chop House in Miles City.

   “Volunteers like Mr. Collie are crucial to National Weather Service operations,” said Meier. “Only a handful of the 11,700 volunteer observers in the U.S. collecting daily weather data have ever taken observations for 65 years or more.”

   Mr. Collie began reporting daily precipitation readings on his ranch in southwest Fallon County in June 1950. The ranch was originally homesteaded in 1910 by his mother. Collie continues to work on the ranch where Black Angus cattle graze the land. Collie’s son, Alex, Jr., assists with observations on occasion, but the senior Collie plans to maintain the observations as long as he can with no plans to retire.

   Mr. Collie has been honored with numerous awards from the National Weather Service for his efforts in the Cooperative Weather Observer Program. Collie has been awarded the Edward H. Stoll award, the John Campanius Holm Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Helmut E. Landsberg award. The Albert J. Myer award will be the fifth national award presented to Collie from the National Weather Service.