Stamp commemorates American weather pioneer of Åland descent

Åland stamp Satellite meteorology Suomi NPP

On 25 March, Åland Post issues a stamp featuring the Suomi NPP weather satellite, named after Åland descendant Verner E. Suomi. Also known as ”the father of satellite meteorology”, Suomi contributed to laying the foundations for today’s weather satellites, essential for providing weather forecasts. Åland illustrator Peter Bergström has designed the stamp.

Verner E. Suomi (1915–1995) was among the earliest to understand the importance of satellites for weather observations. His parents Johan Suomi, born in Kustavi in the archipelago of Åboland, and Anna Matilda Sundqvist from Pettböle, Finström, emigrated from Åland to the USA in 1902. Verner grew up in Eveleth, Minnesota, as the second youngest of seven siblings.

Launched in 1959, the Explorer VII Satellite carried Suomi’s first instrument, a flat plate radiometer that measured the Earth’s heat balance from space for the first time. It was discovered that clouds play an important role in the Earth’s energy budget and that the Earth absorbs more radiated solar energy than was previously recognized. Suomi’s most important invention is probably a camera that was added to the ATS-1 Satellite launched in 1966. Its geosynchronous orbit enabled scientists to observe the formation of weather systems without interruptions. Until then, all we had seen were interesting snapshots from space but, with Suomi’s ”Spin-Scan Cloud Camera”, scientists could monitor air motion, cloud height and rainfall among other phenomena.

Since 2011, the American weather satellite Suomi NPP on the stamp monitors the Earth’s cloud cover, oceans, ice sheets, vegetation, and the heat radiation from the Earth’s atmosphere. The Suomi NPP is a polar orbiting satellite and is one of several satellites providing data for weather forecasts in Finland.

Order stamp, first day cover and maximum card at, by post to Åland Post Stamps, P.O. box 1100, AX-22111 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, e-mail stamps(a) or telephone +358 18 636 641.

Date of issue25 March 2021
ArtistPeter Bergström
DesignJulia Perander/Strax
Edition80 000
DenominationVärlden (€2,20)
Stamp size35 x 34,5 mm
Sheet size2 x 15 stamps
Paper103 g/m²
Perforation13 per 2 cm
Printing process4-colour offset
Printing houseSouthern Colour Print