Interested in becoming an official weather observer?  Several unique opportunities exist for weather observers in New Mexico.  Each one is described below in more detail.  If you have questions or would like additional information, please send an email to:
 sr-abq.webmaster@noaa.gov

National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque is looking for public-service oriented people to become weather observers across the northern two-thirds of New Mexico. We are most interested in areas of the state  where Cooperative Weather Stations are few and far between. If you know someone who enjoys weather and would like to become an official observer in their town or ranch, please  let them know about this unique program. 

The Cooperative Observer Program (coop) is based on a network of volunteers. It requires minimal time, is fun, and more importantly,  plays a vital role in helping to define the climate of your local area and New Mexico. Using an  internet-based website or an automated phone system, observers send daily high and low temperatures as well as 24-hour precipitation totals directly to the NWS.  At the end of each month, a form with all the recorded weather elements are sent to the NWS. These data are then sent to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, where they are digitized, quality controlled and subsequently made part of the official national climate database. 

 A cooperative station is a site at which observations are taken or other services rendered by volunteers or contractors who are not NWS employees.  Observers are not required to take or pass observation certification examinations. Equipment used at NWS cooperative stations are provided and maintained by the NWS. 

If you or anyone you know are interested in volunteering year around for this unique NWS program, please contact Earl Breon at (505) 243-0702.

NWS Albuquerque Storm Spotter

National Weather Service Albuquerque is responsible for the northern two-thirds of New Mexico. A wide variety of extreme weather occurs throughout the year. Reports from volunteer spotters improve our products and services in a number of ways. 

Due to the rural nature of New Mexico, our current network lacks the spatial resolution necessary to cover the state. Observers are clustered around cities and major highways, with many areas void of observers.  This network of storm spotters is independent of the Cooperative Observer Program, but many coop observers are also storm spotters. Storm spotters report tornadoes, funnel clouds, hail, winds 50 mph or greater, flooding, snowfall, ice accumulation, and any hazardous weather causing injury, death or damage.  Spotters can call a toll free number 1-888-386-7637 or use a storm report form on our webpage. Please note, however, you will be required to attend a SKYWARN spotter training course developed by the NWS. It takes about 2.5 hours to complete. Check our our homepage for the latest list of training sessions in your area. You can also contact Kerry Jones, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, at 505-244-9150 ext. 223.

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network

CoCoRaHS (cocorahz) is in New Mexico! The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) was begun in Colorado in 1998. This supplemental network, brainchild of Nolan Doesken, assistant state climatologist for Colorado, allows volunteer weather observers to enter rainfall, snowfall, hail and snow reports into a web-based system.  The result is displayed on maps and can be accessed by anyone with Internet capabilities. 

This new network supplements existing networks such as the NWS Cooperative Observer Network. For more information on this network and the training session, see the CoCoRaHS web page:  http://ccc.atmos.colostate.edu/~hail/ or call our office toll free at 1-888-386-7637.  You can also send an email to sr-abq.webmaster@noaa.gov

National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists in Colorado have used the network for nearly 7 years. The near real time capabilities allow forecasters to monitor reports and use the information in the warning decision making process.  CoCoRaHS is not intended to replace the NWS cooperative observer program, but to supplement it. 

If you have an interest in CoCoRaHS, you can check it out on the web. Nolan and his team would be happy to hear from volunteers with a passion for weather observations!  For more information, check out http://ccc.atmos.colostate.edu/~hail/

CoCoRaHS Volunteer Application Form

 


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.