50 years of weather reporting
Mount Mary recognized by the National Weather Service
The National Weather Service has recognized Mount Mary University for its service in providing temperature and precipitation level measurements for the past 50 years. Sister Georgeann Krzyzanowski, SSND, has been the most recent weather observer and reports data on a daily basis.
In 1968, the National Weather Service set up two weather stations on campus – one for measuring high and low temperature; and one for measuring rain and snowfall. Ever since, a School Sister of Notre Dame at Mount Mary measures the temperature and precipitation between 6:00 – 7:00 a.m. and provides data to the weather station in Sullivan, WI.
The first SSND to start this tradition was Sister Mary Felice Vaudreuil, a professor and chairperson in math and volunteer weather observer for 20 years for the US Weather Bureau. The responsibility shifted to other sisters until the role of taking weather measurements was handed down to Krzyzanowski, which she continues today.
“If the other sisters weren’t here, I would do it. And that’s how I acquired the job. It’s the way we acquire jobs around here sometimes. You’re there - okay, I will do it!”
The weather stations are placed in specific locations on campus to minimize the effects from wind. Krzyzanowski says she uses the two thermometers to gauge a maximum and minimum temperature, a bucket like system to measure the rain, as well as a flat board to measure snowfall.
“Snow is the trickiest, so I measure, using the measuring stick, how much [snow] is on that white board, and I dump it into this bucket and melt it, because I have to determine how much water is in the amount of snow.”
The weather data provided by Mount Mary University gives high-quality precipitation data to the National Weather Service for natural resource, education and research applications.
Weather service honor
The plaque from the National Weather Service honoring Mount Mary Univeristy's commitment to 50 years of weather reporting hangs in Caroline Hall.