Grey Highlands, Ontario

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Weather Watchers

Around the Grey County farming community these days, everyone watches the weather. But few write down what they see. ln 1999, a Proton Township couple - Grant and Edith Preston - were presented with a plaque from Environment Canada as a reward for thirty years of weather watching. As early as the 1870s, the Canadian Meteorological Service promoted the building of primitive weather bureaus in key areas across Canada. One of those sites selected was Southampton where the pioneer weather forecaster was named Agnes Tolmie. Proton Township's Grant and Edith Preston followed in a long line of weather watchers. lt all started for the Prestons in 1969 when Edith contacted the weather monitoring station in Mount Forest to ask about buying a new rain gauge after Grant had run over his with his tractor. Asked if they would be interested in keeping weather records for their area, they jumped at the chance. Soon, in front of their farmhouse on the 16th Concession of Proton, a Stevenson Shelter was built. read more articles in curious guide lt was painted white with slotted sides to protect the thermometers from direct sunlight and wind, housing both a minimum thermometer and a maximum one. Readings were taken twice daily at 8:00 a.m. and again at 6:00 p.m. Over the years, the Prestons observed the weather, living through deep freezes and droughts alike. Along the way, there were records. The highest temperature recorded by the Prestons was a scorching 33.5 C. on August 2nd, 1988 while the lowest was a bone-chilling -37.2 C on January 18th, 1977. Even after 30 years in the weather business, the Prestons continue to watch weather.