Arlene Cole started tracking the weather 65 years ago after she took over as a weather watcher for a friend who died.
Arlene Cole is 92 years old and still tracking the weather for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Credit: CBS 13

For nearly 65 years, a Newcastle woman has been a weather watcher for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The weather has always sparked the interest of 92-year-old Arlene Cole.

“I’ve always been interested in the weather,” Cole said. “I grew up on a farm, and farm weather is very important.”

But it was back in the 1950s when she got started, taking over the job from a friend who died and had worked as a weather watcher for NOAA.

There are more than 7,000 volunteer weather watchers across the country who track and report conditions.

Cole, who received a letter 65 years ago certifying her an official weather watcher, has every record she’s written — from tracking rain, temperatures and snow — kept inside a briefcase.

Cole said a lot of weather watchers most likely use computer technology to track conditions, but she still uses pen and paper. And she still has the same weather equipment her friend left behind in her backyard.

When she first started as a weather watcher, she would go outside each day and check the temperature. In 1984, she got new weather equipment that allows her to check the temperature right from her kitchen counter. Her receiver is wired to an outdoor thermometer.

“You have to be in touch with it,” Cole said. “Constantly.”

Cole plans to work as a weather watcher as long as she can properly. Once she can’t, she’ll finally retire.