For Immediate Release: 10/04/19

WHITEHALL—The National Weather Service today marked the centennial of weather observations from the Champlain Canal lock in Whitehall, which help craft forecasts for mariners on the canal, Lake Champlain and residents in the Capital Region and North Country.

For 100 years, lock tenders at Lock C-12, the northern terminus of the Champlain Canal, have recorded temperature and precipitation daily as part of the NWS Cooperative Observer Program. Those observations are sent to the NWS and the National Center for Environmental Information.

"The COOP program partners across numerous federal, state and local agencies, and can be traced back to 1797 when Thomas Jefferson envisioned a network of weather observers across the nation" said Britt Westergard, Senior Service Hydrologist at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Albany.

Among the records recorded at Lock C-12 are:

  • Highest Single Day Rainfall: 4.60 inches, August 29, 2011
  • Highest Single Day Snowfall: 24.0 inches, February 26, 1996
  • Highest Single Day Temperature: 104F, July 18, 1953
  • Coldest Single Day Temperature: -38F, February 18, 1979

"We are proud to play a role in weather forecasts that are so crucial, not just to the operation of canals, but for the entire region," said Brian U. Stratton, New York State Corporation director. "The importance of this data can't be overstated. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the National Weather Service."

The centennial for weather observations at two Erie Canal locks, Lock E-22 in Rome and Lock E-24 in Baldwinsville, will also be marked this year.

Weather observations at the Whitehall lock include rain, snow and temperature readings. The readings were praised by the NWS for being both on time and accurate. View the weather data from Lock C-12.

The COOP program has 8,700 volunteers taking observations in urban and suburban areas, as well as farms, national parks, beaches and mountains. The network has been recognized as the most definitive source of U.S. climate trends for temperature and precipitation.

About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York's canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. In 2019, New York will mark the 200th anniversary of the first trip taken on the Erie Canal, from Rome to Utica.

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About the National Weather Service

The mission of the National Weather Service is to provide weather, water and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. The NWS has played a key role in protecting American lives and properties for over a century. The timely provision of reliable weather, water, climate, and environmental information has supported the Nation's social and economic development. NWS offices in communities across the United States and its territories, supported by regional and national centers, provide the authoritative information needed by Americans, including national, regional, state, tribal, and local authorities, to plan, prepare, mitigate, and respond to natural and human-caused events.


Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192