Howard Lohf, Seneca's Cooperative Weather Observer for many years and the Man who measured and documented Oregon's All-time Record Coldest Temperature in February of 1933

Howard Lohf, Cooperative weather observer in Seneca in the 1930s, for the U.S. Department of Agriculture

My full historical story of Seneca in the 1930s, and specifically Mr. Lohf's historic weather observations that frigid day in the winter of 1933, were published in four main places: (1) the Burns Times-Herald newspaper on February 8th, 1995; (2) Cascades East Magazine, a quarterly published by Sun Publications in Bend, Oregon, Winter 94-95 edition; (3) The Eugene Register-Guard newspaper, February 5th, 1995; and (4) The Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper*, week of February 6, 1995. More, recently, a portion of the original story was re-published on-line within the Oregon Climate Service's website.

Purchase Story: Recently I had the most complete version of my story scanned into jpeg files from my copies of the original Burns newspaper story...The two-page spread includes 4 historic photos and a diagram.... I will be happy to share the scans with interested parties, but will be charging $5 for awhile until I have re-couped the cost involved in the scans. This is the price for me to transmit the scans to you electronically, and they are very large files and you will require a high-speed internet connection. Use: brucej@oregonphotos.com

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*The Blue Mountain Eagle is Oregon's oldest weekly newspaper, published since 1868, when it served the booming gold mining towns around Canyon City and John Day, Oregon.

last revision: 03/05/2017, added Co-op Observer section below on 5/5/2012

Excerpted in whole from the Portland, Oregon National Weather Service website:

Seneca's present weather station and its long-time Cooperative Observer, Mr. John Saunders, 1995.


"With all of the state-of-the-art technology associated with the modernization of the National Weather Service, there remains a program administered by the Weather Service that has stayed virtually unchanged since its inception over a hundred years ago. This is the
Cooperative Weather Observer Program where 11,700 volunteer weather observers across the country record daily temperature and precipitation data. Some also record or report additional information such as soil temperature, evaporation and wind movement, agricultural data, water equivalent of snow on the ground, river stages, lake levels, atmospheric phenomena, and road hazards. Many Cooperative Stations in the United States have been collecting weather data from the same location for over 100 years.


The first extensive network of cooperative stations was set up in the 1890's as a result of an act of congress in 1890 that established the Weather Bureau, but many of its stations began operation long before that time. John Companius Holm's weather records, taken without the benefit of instruments in 1644 and 1645, were the earliest known observations in the United States. Subsequently many persons, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, maintained weather records. Jefferson maintained an almost unbroken record of weather observations between 1776 and 1816 and Washington took his last weather observation just a few days before he died. Two of the most prestigious awards given to Cooperative Weather Observers are named after Holm and Jefferson. Because of it's many decades of relatively stable operation, high station density, and high proportion of rural locations, the Cooperative Network has been recognized as the most definitive source of information on U.S. climate trends for temperature and precipitation. Cooperative Stations form the core of the U.S. Historical Climate Network (HCN) and the U.S. Reference Climate Network.


Equipment to gather these data is provided and maintained by the National Weather Service and data forms are sent monthly to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina, where data are digitized, quality controlled, and subsequently archived. Volunteer weather observers regularly and conscientiously contribute their time so that their observations can provide the vital information needed. These data are invaluable in learning more about the floods, droughts, and heat and cold waves which inevitably affect everyone. They are also used in agricultural planning and assessment, engineering, environmental-impact assessment, utilities planning, and litigation and play a critical role in efforts to recognize and evaluate the extent of human impacts on climate from local to global scales. Many Cooperative Weather Observers report daily precipitation to River Forecast Centers in support of the National Weather Service Hydrology Program.


Volunteer weather observers conscientiously contribute their time so that observations can provide the vital information needed. These data are invaluable in learning more about the floods, droughts, heat and cold waves affecting us all. The data are also used in agricultural planning and assessment, engineering, environmental-impact assessment, utilities planning, and litigation. COOP data plays a critical role in efforts to recognize and evaluate the extent of human impacts on climate from local to global scales."