Are you intrigued by weather? Do you ever wonder how much rain you actually received? If so, join the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) and volunteer to collect precipitation in your own backyard to the benefit of you and many others! CoCoRaHS is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers of all ages in all fifty states to help collect data to supplement existing observations.
You will simply set up your gauge and observe and record precipitation and weather patterns in your area that will then be recorded by you on the CoCoRaHS website. This information will be available in “real-time” to a wide range of end users including The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, city utility departments, USDA, emergency managers, engineers, farmers, teachers, students, and your neighbors in order to assist in the prediction of certain weather occurrences, such as flash flooding, hail, or storm warnings.
North Carolina was the 21st state to establish the CoCoRsHS back in 2007 and by 2010 all 50 states were participating, with thousands of observations being reported each day. The reporting of your data takes as little as 5 minutes but the benefits are far-reaching! If you’re enthusiastic about weather observation, visit the CoCoRaHS website and join the network of volunteers. To participate, you must register, obtain an official 4 inch rain gauge (which can be purchased on the CoCoRaHS website for about $30), and take the online training module. Once you’re all set up, start observing and reporting!