FARMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — They live at opposite ends of the Twin Cities, but their passion is the same.
Phyllis Kelly and Doug Tierney are just two of our WCCO weather watchers, and both share an acute appreciation for the whims of Minnesota weather.
For Phyllis, it was life on the farm that sparked an interest. For Doug, it was a job.
Whether driving rain or April snow, dark clouds or warm sunshine, Phyllis can be seen on her daily walks to the garden in Farmington. That’s where her professional rain gauge is located.
“My Dad always said, ‘Get it out in the open,’” Phyllis said.
Her fascination with getting accurate forecasts and weather readings grew while she was growing up on the farm. She even has a National Weather Service Bureau snow measurer.
“It’s over 25 years old…and it was handed down to me from my father,” she said.
Sixty miles to the north of Phyllis, spring has finally sprung on Coon Lake and Tierney is recording every drip.
“I think this weather out here we have to have accurate readings. We have to know in advance to benefit the community,” Doug said.
Phyllis and Doug are avid WCCO weather watchers, and they’re turning their hobbies into something helpful.
What each of them tracks on gauges and instruments is carefully recorded on computer screens and paper charts. That’s because to better appreciate weather conditions in the present, we often will look to the past.
“The highest summertime temperature I had was 101 degrees last summer, about the 5th of July,” Doug said.
Phyllis remembers when straight line winds cut through her neighborhood years ago.
“We lost nine trees, and it took the pillar off the house,” she said.
So whether there’s a gentle breeze or a fierce summer storm, Phyllis and Doug will keep their eyes to the skies…sharing what they see with all of us.
“I like to report it every day, so people that turn on their TV’s at morning, noon or evening, they know what the weather is,” Phyllis said.
Doug added, “I just enjoy doing it.”
If you want to be a WCCO Weather Watcher, apply here.