Keeping track of the weather has become a tradition in the Prince family over the years.

And one family member, Lyle B. Prince, who turned 82 Saturday, was recently honored with a 50-year government service award and the Edward H. Stoll award from the Department of Commerce, National Weather Service.The awards are for 50 years of continuous weather observations from the New Harmony cooperative weather station, said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service.

Mike Conger, a lead forecaster, presented the awards to Prince at the home of his daughter, Delora Hunt, in St. George.

Beginning June 1, 1911, and continuing through May 31, 1926, Prince's uncle, the late George F. Prince, gathered weather data. On Sept. 30, 1940, Lyle Prince and his wife, the late Venice Prince, who died last Aug. 6, and their three children, Delora; Dorothy Torgersen, now of Somis, Calif.; and a son, Mervin, of New Harmony, took over the weather program.

Lyle B. Prince no longer collects information, but his family works to keep the records current until a new observer can be found, Alder said.

"Observations from New Harmony have always been accurate and complete. An example of this occurred on Feb. 10, 1978, when 4.71 inches of rain fell, but only 1.71 inches was published in the official records. The Prince family promptly notified the Weather Service and a correction was made," Alder said.

Both the government and environmental and economic interests have benefited over the years from the family's service, Alder said.

Prince was mayor of New Harmony and president for many years of a local irrigation company. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he was bishop for several years of the New Harmony Ward and a member of the High Council in the Cedar West Stake. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a guide on many hunting expeditions to nearby mountains.

"Father and mother enjoyed keeping track of the weather. It has been very interesting project for our family. I can't remember when we didn't keep track of weather data," Delora Hunt said.