January 17, 2020 11:08am
Temp: 18° (forecast)
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Stafford Shining Stars

About Shining Stars:

Stafford has it all – beautiful natural landscapes, rich heritage, small town charm and unique cultural assets – but it’s our residents that are our greatest asset. There’s a lot to celebrate in this community and the “Stafford Shining Star” program recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments, generosity and contributions of citizens, local businesses, organizations and clubs. This is our chance to say “thank you” to those who perpetuate civic pride, contribute to the development of our community, have realized notable achievements or make Stafford a better place to live.
Stafford Shining Stars

Other Shining Stars:

Jeff Aborn, Stafford Weather Watcher

Jeff Aborn, Stafford Weather Watcher

Jeff Aborn, Stafford Weather Watcher

Jeff Aborn, Stafford Weather Watcher

Jeff Aborn, Stafford Weather Watcher
Shining Stars

Jeff Aborn, Stafford Weather Watcher

Equipped with meteorological instruments that speckle his yard - like the Davis Vantage Pro 2 integrated sensor suite with rain collector, temperature, and humidity sensors, and anemometer - Jeff Aborn has been serving the community with accurate weather reports, predictions and observations since 1999. The fervent pastime sparked after Jeff had attended an open house weather workshop at WFSB Channel 3. Immediately “hooked” he signed up to be one of the station’s Weather Watchers. Using a modest digital thermometer his hobby began and he established himself as a regular contributor with accurate readings from his Staffordville property.

About a year and a half later the National Weather Service (NWS) called, asking if there was someone willing to record and report the local weather from Stafford - and just like that - Jeff became a Cooperative Weather Observer Program (COOP) participant. Formed in 1891, COOP is the nation's largest and oldest weather network to formalize the collection of meteorological observations and establish/record climate conditions in the United States. the Cooperative Network has been recognized both as the most comprehensive daily source of U.S. temperature and precipitation data.

Jeff is a faithful volunteer to the program, meticulously contributing his time and expertise so that observations can provide all vital information needed. NWS says COOP data is invaluable in learning more about the floods, droughts, heat and cold waves affecting us all. The data is also used in agricultural planning and assessment, engineering, environmental-impact assessment, utility planning, and litigation. COOP data also plays a critical role in efforts to recognize and evaluate the extent of human impacts on climate from local to global scales.

In Connecticut, Jeff reports to WFSB Channel 3, NBC 30, WTNH News 8 and Fox 61. Channel 3's Chief Meteorologist, Bruce DePrest, says weather watchers need to possess not only reliable weather equipment that can measure rainfall and temperature, but also need to be knowledgeable on how to accurately take snow measurements. A bonus would be having equipment that measures wind direction and speed, as Jeff does. Bruce also shared that “Jeff is a very reliable weather watcher for Channel 3 and also Cooperative Observer for the National Weather Service.”

Here in Stafford Jeff ensures we’re a weather-ready community, keeping the public informed of weather, tracks severe storms, predicts weather, and issues watches and warnings. Using a myriad of equipment - from a rain collector positioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to his newly installed “pride and joy,” a customizable station that records everything from dew point to wind speed - Jeff keeps us updated with local weather so residents can protect their lives and property. With reporting starting at 5am, Jeff is up before the sun calculating and tracking that day’s activity. In the winter, he uses a “snowboard” a meteorological tool used to aid in obtaining accurate measurements of snow accumulation. Once gathered, he melts down the snow to determine the liquid equivalency of how much snow fell within a particular timeframe; this data is critical to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, who determine annual runoff and stream flow. Inside, from his “command center,” he logs collected data - rainfall, temperature, wind speed/direction, etc. - using specialized weather programs while interpreting live radar maps.

Every day since 2002, Jeff has a record of the weather in Staffordville and continues to provide an invaluable service to our community. With a full understanding of donating time and talent, he has also volunteered for the CERT Team, at Safe Net Food Cupboard, and at his church. Furthermore, he routinely welcomes Scout Troops, individuals, and groups to his property, sharing his passion and hopefully inspiring a new generation of weather watchers. Inside his “command center,” the walls are peppered with accolades, length of service awards, photographs, and distinguishing media coverage.

It’s evident his volunteer weather reporting requires a lot of time and while recognition is an honor, his real motivation is keeping an informed and prepared community. He says, “it’s a big commitment, but keeping people safe with accurate readings - I strive to be 100% - is what keeps me going.

Jeff’s work is an amazing example of harnessing your personal passion to foster positive civic spirit. He’s simply driven by giving back to the community. Our appreciation and gratitude extend to Jeff for sharing his unique skills and expertise with the citizens of Stafford!

If you would like up-to-date weather for Tolland County, follow Jeff at facebook.com/jcaborn.weather

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