April 22, 2017

Citizen scientists needed to measure rain, hail, snow

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network, or CoCoRaHS, is looking for new volunteers across North Carolina.

The grassroots effort is part of a growing national network of home-based and amateur rain spotters with a goal of providing a high-density precipitation network that will supplement existing observations.

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

Volunteers may obtain an official rain gauge through the CoCoRaHS website (http://www.cocorahs.org) for about $30 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 5 minutes a day.

“Monitoring weather and climate conditions in North Carolina is no easy feat,” said Heather Dinon Aldridge, assistant state climatologist and interim associate director of the State Climate Office, based at North Carolina State University. “CoCoRaHS volunteers help by painting a better picture of precipitation patterns across North Carolina, filling in data gaps where there are no nearby stations.”

North Carolina CoCoRaHS can also be reached on Facebook and through Twitter.

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