NEW HOPE, Minn. — We know WCCO's NEXT Weather team is passionate about the weather, but a Weather Watcher from New Hope has been just as passionate about the science for the last 55 years earning national recognition.
Like many meteorologists, Steve Reckers has loved the weather for as long as he can remember.
"Since 3 or 4 years old. And I remember lying in bed and I could look out at the streetlight and I was always interested, hoping snow would fall," Reckers said.
That fascination for snow never stopped. In high school, he got his first weather gadgets -- which he still collects and uses -- like a sling psychrometer used to measure the dew point.
In fact, every day, for the last 55 years, he's taken weather observations from his backyard. In total, that's more than 20,000 individual weather reports.
"As long as I'm here, I love it. I really don't need a break because I'm just excited by it every day," he said.
He's been sharing all that valuable data with WCCO as a part of the NEXT Weather Watcher Network, and with the National Weather Service, earning him the NWS's Benjamin Franklin Award, one of the top national recognitions for volunteer observers.
"I'm very appreciative. Appreciative of getting the award, but happy that information I collect can be used by others."
Reckers plans to keep his head in the clouds, and he encourages anyone else with the same passion to do the same.
"Keep doing it. You'll find it rewarding, I'm sure, just as I've found it rewarding to have that interest and I'm thankful that I have it. And it keeps me going every day."
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