South Shore weather spotter receives award |

South Shore weather spotter receives award

Simon Smith, who has been writing the Tribune’s daily weather column since April, was honored by the National Weather Service in Reno on Wednesday for his public service contributions.

In his role as a weather spotter, Smith was called “the eyes and ears” of the Weather Service in the South Lake Tahoe area.

“He has gone beyond the normal call of duty as a weather spotter by cautiously driving into hazardous weather conditions such as snow storms and into the vicinity of flooded areas to report the conditions with a high level of detail and accuracy,” said a statement from the Weather Service.

In particular, he has provided important information about flooding in the Tahoe area, including the New Year’s floods of 2005-’06, and reported wind and smoke conditions during the Angora fire.

“It definitely gives a very good feeling to know I’ve had that much impact,” Smith said in a phone interview after Wednesday’s award ceremony.

The Public Service Award received by Smith is given to “individuals or organizations who have demonstrated heroic action that have helped in saving life or property, taken unusual action in furnishing severe weather reports to the NWS, and shown exceptional competence in presenting NWS forecasts and warnings,” the Weather Service said in its statement.

Smith, who has lived in South Lake Tahoe for 10 years and worked for US Bank here, is leaving Tahoe this week to take a different position with the bank in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He’ll remain active with the National Weather Service, working with their office in Spokane, Wash.

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