Wanted: Volunteers to Measure Rain
||The Annual CoCoRaHS March Madness Volunteer Drive Is Underway!
|The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a grassroots, non-profit, community-based, high density precipitation network made up of volunteers from all backgrounds and ages who take daily measurements of 'just precipitation' right in their own backyards. Given the variable pattern of rainfall over Florida, it's important to understand just how much rain fell in an area. How many times have you heard the rainfall report from an official gauge and thought to yourself: That's not what I got?
This is your chance to help. By providing your daily precipitation data, you truly help many in Florida in one way or another - whether it's agricultural specialists, National Weather Service meteorologists, forestry officials, water management employees or emergency management personnel.
How is CoCoRaHS data used?
CoCoRaHS data are used in several important ways. In addition to reporting daily precipitation, observers are also encouraged to report hail and intense precipitation. CoCoRaHS hail reports have been used numerous times to verify severe thunderstorm warnings and intense precipitation reports have alerted forecasters to heavy rainfall, prompting the issuance of flood/flash flood warnings. Also, daily CoCoRaHS precipitation data is gathered and issued in a text format for West Central and Southwest Florida. Click HERE to see the latest CoCoRaHS precipitation reports from the Tampa Bay CWA!
CoCoRaHS data are also collected and analyzed to create event rainfall accumulation maps. One example is from Tropical Storm Debby that occurred in late June 2012. Without our CoCoRaHS observers there would be numerous holes in the map below with missing data. The data, when used with ASOS/AWOS/COOP data, gives meteorologists a greater detail of precipitation variability. One thing to remember is that the CoCoRaHS data is operationally vital to the NWS!
So you want to become an observer?
It's easy to sign-up to become an observer through http://www.cocorahs.org/Application.aspx. Once you sign up, someone will contact you with all the information (station name, station number and login support) you need to get your station up and running.
You'll need a few 'tools of the trade' in order to be a successful observer:
- The desire and commitment to help study and learn about precipitation and storms
- A 4-inch rain gauge and your own unique station number and name
- Internet access
To learn more about CoCoRaHS in Florida...
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Florida Climate Center
Florida State University
RM 232 Johnson Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840