Norton Patch VIP of the Week: Dave Sumner
Norton's very own weather spotter.
He’s had his eyes on the skies now for five decades, watching intently on what Mother Nature doles out. He is Dave Sumner, Norton’s National Weather Service spotter.
Sumner was trained as a weather spotter five years ago at Sturdy Hospital in Attleboro in a volunteer program sponsored by the National Weather Service in Taunton. His interest in the weather was born during Hurricane Carol in 1954 and Hurricane Diane in 1955.
“I saw Don Kent on television and listening to him started my interest,” Sumner said. “I’ve been interested ever since.”
Sumner reports a variety of weather conditions to the National Weather Service in Taunton, everything from the size of hailstones during extreme weather to measuring snowfall amounts. Sumner’s role as a weather spotter also makes him a valuable asset to River Crossing residents where he resides.
“We pay for snow removal by the inch, so I report to the Board of Trustees and we’re billed accordingly,” he said.
Sumner attended Wentworth College before earning his degree in education from Northeastern University. He joined the meteorology club at Wentworth. Students at Wentworth were required to join a club because the school believed that joining a club made students more well rounded.
In 1976, Sumner was at Mount St. Helen’s in Washington State and filmed it erupting, an experience he said he’ll never forget.
Sumner uses the time tested method of measuring snowfall amounts using the good old fashioned and reliable yardstick. He’s been plenty busy this winter, as the region has been hit by substantial snowstorms.
“I’ve entered pictures of snowstorms to WBZ and I saw one morning that they used one of my pictures,” he said. “When you see reports from Norton, it’s me.”