Become a Weather Observer!
Posted: February 28, 2012
You can become a weather observer and be part of a nationwide program called CoCoRaHS. CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive website, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.
It can be happily reported that every state in the union is now participating!
Who Can Participate?
This is a community project. Everyone can help, young, old, and in-between. The only requirements are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can effect and impact our lives. The foundation of the network are volunteers willing to spend a few minutes each day measuring and reporting precipitation.
What Will Volunteer Observers Be Doing?
Each time a rain or snowstorm crosses your area, volunteers take measurements of precipitation from as many locations as possible. These precipitation reports are then recorded on the Web site www.cocorahs.org although internet access is not required to be an observer.
The data is then displayed and organized for many of the end users to analyze and apply to daily situations ranging from water resource analysis and severe storm warnings to neighbors comparing how much rain fell in their backyards.
Why Is There So Much Interest In Rain, Hail And Snow?
Precipitation is essential for life. It varies greatly with topography, storm type and season. It really is true that it may pour on one side of the street and be dry on the one side of the street. A portion of a field may be pounded by hail while others nearby receive no damage. Snowfall may pile up in one neighborhood and only dust another. Rain, hail and snow are easy to measure, and the data are easy to measure, collected and are very important.
Meteorologists are very interested in precipitation, but so are many others. Engineers, hydrologists, entomologists, insurance experts, building contractors and even baseball players and coaches . . . you name it; everyone seems to care about rain, hail and snow. And for some, like farmers, it is their very livelihood.
Cocorahs Is Educational
CoCoRaHS offers a variety of learning opportunities for volunteers. In addition to training, periodic email and newsletters inform participants about how CoCoRaHS data are used by researchers, natural resource managers, and others. CoCoRaHS is also involved in developing classroom resources for teachers and in conducting teacher workshops on weather and climate.
By participating in a science project with a local feel, citizens develop a sense of community with fellow observers and raise awareness about their surrounding environment. At the present time 9 local schools are participating in the program with over 750 students involved with the more educational facilities expressing interest.
A weather observer training is scheduled for:
Saturday, March 24th,2012 at the Montgomery County 4-H Center in Creamery from 10-11am in the Beech Room.
Please call or email Linda Hoade at 610-489-4315 to register or obtain more information about CoCoRaHS and the training meeting.