Weather is always a hot topic in Saskatchewan, but for Andy and Angela Giraudier of Coronach, it has been a part of their daily routine for over 40 years.
The Giraudiers first began collecting daily date for Environment Canada on their farm, north of Coronach, in 1971. They moved to town 20 years ago and moved the weather station with them.
According to Angela, friends and relatives take care of collecting the data for them when they are away.
In 2011, the Giraudiers celebrated their 40th anniversary collecting weather data for Environment Canada.
On June 7, 2012, John Mravnik, from the Saskatoon office of Environment Canada was in Coronach to recognize their commitment.”
“(40 years of volunteer weather collection is) very rare, I think in the last ten years, we have given out about
four of those type of awards.” said Mravnik.
According to Mravnik, with more automatic weather stations in the province, volunteer weather stations aren’t needed as much, so the number of stations like Giraudiers has dropped drastically. Mravnik said 25 years ago they had 350, they are down to 65 active stations with volunteers that are aging.
Mravnik says they use the date from the volunteer stations to validate the date from the automatic stations.
Mravnik explained that in Coronach, there are two weather stations, an automatic and Giraudiers’. Mravnik said the data from the automatic and manned stations are fairly close. “It is not unusual for us to get a call from a forecaster saying I think your auto station is not working properly and then we check and see what (Andy) did. . . We believe Andy cause there’s no bells and whistles on Andy, he just tells it as it is.” he chuckled.
Mravnik presented Giraudiers with a number of gifts to recognize their commitment to the program. They received a letter of thanks, a framed certificate, a book and a framed chart that shows the averages in precipitaion and temperature over the 40 years that Giraudiers have manned the station.
Andy was pleased to be recognized and has no plans to retire. “It’s been real interesting, I envy anyone that can do this. We’re quite happy doing this. As long as we can carry on, we’ll certainly carry on.” said Andy.
Angela said, “It’s been fun to look over the date for 40 years.”
Besides awards on their 10 year anniversaries, Giraudiers have received no other compensation for their collection of data.
Data from Giraudiers’ station and the automatic station can be viewed online at http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca