BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y. — Richard G. Hendrickson dials a certain telephone number by 10 a.m. every day. “Bridgehampton,” he says into the receiver. “Good morning.”
They know his voice at the National Weather Service. “I don’t say Hendrickson,” he said. “Sometimes if they’ve got a new one” — a new meteorologist answering the phone at the New York-area forecast office in Upton, N.Y., about 40 miles away — “they’ll say, ‘Who is this?’ ”
Who this is is not some nicely tanned surfer checking a thermometer when he is not catching a wave, as one might expect in the Hamptons, but a 101-year-old volunteer who has taken weather readings for 84 years.
Twice a day, every day, he has recorded the temperature, precipitation and wind from the same area of Bridgehampton. He has been at it through 14 presidencies, 13 New York governorships and 14 mayoralties in that city 96 miles away.
The Weather Service says he has taken more than 150,000 individual readings. His is the longest continuous streak in the history of the Weather Service, which has 8,700 such volunteers nationwide, including 55 in the New York area. The agency says he is the first to serve for more than eight decades. And to answer the obvious question, yes, he has been known to take the occasional vacation.
In his 20s, he went to New Zealand — “as far away as you can get,” he said. His mother filled in at the weather station.
Long Island Weather Observer Sets U.S. Record With 84-Year Streak - NYTimes.com