Museum logo
Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Number RG0791.AM
Collection Name RG0791 Nebraska Weather Service
Identifier Organizational records
Size and Materials 6.0 cu.ft.; 11 boxes + oversize
Title Nebraska Weather Service records
Date or Date Span 1861-1956
Year Range from 1861
Year Range to 1956
Admin/Biographical History Only a few weather observations were made in Nebraska prior to 1878. The observations at that time were taken mainly at widely scattered military posts such as Fort Kearney, and at apparently independent observation posts such as Plattsmouth, Nebraska. A group of professors at the University of Nebraska recognized the need for better and additional information. Therefore the "Nebraska Weather Service" was organized in 1878 by professors Gilbert E. Bailey and Wayland Bailey. This service developed into the Cooperative Observer Network.

When the Director, Professor S.R. Thompson, left the University in 1884, the Central Office of the Nebraska Weather Service was moved to Doane College under the directorship of Professor G.D. Sweezey. The University continued to cooperate with the agency, to supply observations, and to make use of the data from around the state. When professor Sweezey joined the staff at the university in 1894, the Central Office of the Nebraska Weather Service was transferred to Lincoln, Nebraska.

In 1897 all the weather duties were assumed by the United States Weather Bureau and the Nebraska Weather Service was disbanded. Mr. Loveland, the former assistant, was appointed Section Director by the US Weather Bureau and was supplied with an operating staff. The US Weather Service for State Climatology in Nebraska, under the direction of the State Climatologist, continued to collect data from numerous substations and weather observers throughout the state. Such reports included temperatures, humidity, precipitations, wind velocity, snowfall and storms. This office maintained duplicates of the substation reports, and the originals were sent to the National Weather Bureau Records Center at Asheville, North Carolina. They then compiled the data into various publications. This aspect of the US Weather Service was discontinued in April of 1973 and its functions were assumed by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The bulk of the records of the State Climatologist have remained in the custody of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Level of description Fonds/Coll
Scope & Content This collection consists of records of the Nebraska Weather Service and related agencies, arranged in six series: (1) Smithsonian Institute Reports, 1861, 1866-1875; (2) Signal Service, Weather Bureau Records, 1887-1893; (3) US Dept. of Ag., Weather Bureau Records, 1876-1933; (4) Nebraska Weather Service Bulletins, 1880-1893; (5) Original Voluntary Climatological Reports, 1878-1898, and (6) US Dept. of Commerce, Weather Bureau Records, 1956.

The bulk of this collection consists of records of climatological data obtained at numerous locations in Nebraska, but primarily at Lincoln, Plattsmouth, Crete, and Kearney, 1861-1955. Included are records of temperatures, precipitation, degree of cloudiness, wind velocity, visibility, etc. The Nebraska Weather Service Bulletins (1880-1882) are incomplete but are interesting since they provide a synopsis of weather conditions across the state on a periodic basis. Also included are the original voluntary Climatological Reports by numerous local observers throughout Nebraska. These, however, are incomplete with the majority of the material relating to the late 1880's or the early 1890's. In addition, a history of substations in Nebraska from their date of establishment to 1955 is included. Contained is a summary of information available on substation locations, elevations, exposures, instrumentations, records, and observers.

As the bulk of these records consisted of materials created by the Nebraska Weather Service, a few items of the related Federal Weather Agencies have been retained in the interest of continuity.
Finding Aids Inventory available at the repository.
Subjects Weather
Search Terms Nebraska -- Climate
Meteorology -- Nebraska