Roland Fowler is a local weather celebrity who garners national media attention. He’s been on the Weather Channel, Jimmy Kimmel, all the major networks and even done some guest spots on Prairie …
Roland Fowler is a local weather celebrity who garners national media attention. He’s been on the Weather Channel, Jimmy Kimmel, all the major networks and even done some guest spots on Prairie Home Companion.
Roland is a low-key sort of guy that everybody in Embarrass calls Charlie. He worked as the township’s maintenance supervisor for years, and has served on the township board, school board and fair board.
Fowler has also gotten up early every morning for the last 15 years to report readings to the National Weather Service in Duluth.
“The first question I get on every cold morning is ‘what did Embarrass hit?’” said Mike Stewart, Meteorologist In-Charge of the Duluth office of the National Weather Service. When Embarrass is extraordinarily low, the local NWS office will send out an alert to nationwide media outlets.
Embarrass is certainly on the cold temperature honor roll. Since Fowler started taking readings in 1994, Embarrass has logged temperatures colder than 30-below 161 times, colder than 40-below 38 times and colder than 50-below 8 times.
“This is one of the coldest places in the continental United States,” Stewart said. “The information you’ve given us is terrific.”
Since 1994, Embarrass has recorded the nationwide daily lowest temperature more times than any other single spot in the continental US.
“We are richly blessed with notoriety,” said Fowler. “We get calls from all over the country.”
Fowler said the first question he usually gets from the mediawhen it’s very cold is “Do you go outside?” He said people are amazed that life doesn’t simply stop when the temperatures dip in the 40 to 50-below range.
But Fowler doesn’t just like the attention. He truly does love paying attention to the weather, and the bonus, he said, is all the great people he has met in his role as Embarrass’ weatherman.
Fowler was honored, at Saturday’s Embarrass Holiday Gathering, for 15 years of weather observations for the NWS. He received a plaque and a pin, which Fowler will certainly add to his official Weather Channel jacket.
Fowler is part of the NWS Cooperative Observors Program, a network of over 11,000 observors nationwide. Observors take daily maximum, minimum and precipitation readings, and report them to their area NWS office. These long-term weather readings serve as the backbone for nationwide climate monitoring. The records are used to compute means and trends, and to examine monthly, seasonal and annual variations in climate. All the data is also available online at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dlh.
Fowler isn’t retiring from his duties, and the NWS is expecting many more years of record lows to come from the Cold Spot in Embarrass.