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Wednesday, 04 April 2012 13:02

Volunteer weather observers needed

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New volunteers to help form a national network of home-based and amateur rain spotters are needed.

This is part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network, or CoCoRaHS, which came about as a result of a devastating flash flood that hit Fort Collins, Colo. in July 1997.

CoCoRaHS was born the next year with the intent of doing a better job of mapping and reporting intense storms. As more volunteers participated, rain, hail, and snow maps were produced for every storm showing fascinating local patterns that were of great interest to scientists and the public.

Through CoCoRaHS, thousands of volunteers, young and old, document the size, intensity, duration and patterns of rain, hail and snow by taking simple measurements in their own backyards.

Volunteers may obtain an official rain gauge through the CoCoRaHS website (http://www.cocorahs.org) for about $27 plus shipping. Besides the need for an official 4-inch plastic rain gauge, volunteers are required to take a simple training module online and use the CoCoRaHS website to submit their reports. Observations are immediately available on maps and reports for the public to view. The process takes only five minutes a day, but the impact to the community is tenfold: By providing high quality, accurate measurements, the observers are able to supplement existing networks and provide useful results to scientists, resource managers, decision makers and other users.

Go to the CoCoRaHS website above and click on the “Join CoCoRaHS” emblem on the upper right side of the main website.

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