Speed Reads

the ultimate weatherman

Long Island man, 101, has been reporting the weather for more than 8 decades

Richard G. Hendrickson knows a thing or two about the weather. For the past 84 years, he has reported every rain shower and wind storm that has crossed over his Long Island, New York, farm.

Hendrickson, 101, is the longest serving weather observer in the country, according to meteorologist I. Ross Dickman, the head of New York's weather forecast office. In July, Hendrickson was honored for his service with a special award given by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). "Volunteer observers are the bedrock of weather data collection," Dickman said in a statement

At 18, Hendrickson started reporting weather data to what was then called the U.S. Weather Bureau. "I like being outside in the open," he told National Geographic. "It is delightful when the weather is delightful. It's more challenging when it is wet and winds are blowing at 40 miles per hour."

Using a thermometer, rain gauge, and weather vane, Hendrickson has made more than 150,000 weather observations over his lifetime. He's learned a lot over the past eight decades, including to respect Mother Nature. "The weather is the boss," he said. "Never forget it."