Volunteers needed to help measure rain and snow
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[March 08, 2013]
Each morning a dozen or so
volunteers in Logan County head outside to check their rain gauges,
measuring any precipitation that has fallen. They log on to a
website and report their measurements, which are shared with others
throughout the country. More volunteers are needed.
These volunteers are members of the Community Collaborative Rain,
Hail, and Snow Network, known as CoCoRaHS. This is a grass-roots
national program of backyard weather observers of all ages and
backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation --
rain, hail and snow -- in their local communities.
looking for weather observers to measure precipitation in Logan
County and throughout central Illinois.
Observers use a standard 4-inch rain gauge to measure
precipitation, which is then reported each day on the CoCoRaHS
website. Participation requires only a few minutes each day and
provides a valuable service to the community. Training is provided
and no prior experience is necessary.
Anyone familiar with Illinois weather has probably seen storms
that produce markedly varied rainfall and snowfall patterns within
"The amount you get might be quite different than what your
neighbor a mile down the road gets," says Mary Moore, Logan County
CoCoRaHS coordinator. "This is a great activity for those who want
to learn more about the weather and climate, or those who involved
in activities such as gardening or farming."
High-quality observations made by CoCoRaHS volunteers are used by
a wide variety of organizations and individuals, including the
National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists,
emergency managers, city utilities (for issues related to water
supply, conservation and stormwater), insurance adjusters, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, engineers, mosquito-control specialists,
farmers, outdoor and recreational interests, teachers, students, and
neighbors in the community.
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"The more rainfall observers we have, the better we can describe
the amount and extent of precipitation in Illinois," says Steve
Hilberg, Illinois CoCoRaHS co-coordinator. "CoCoRaHS observers are a
valuable supplement to the daily weather observations by National
Weather Service observers. Our volunteer observers were instrumental
in helping monitor the drought this past summer and fall in
For more information or to join CoCoRaHS, visit the website at
CoCoRaHS, a nonprofit organization, is supported by a grant from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other
contributors. CoCoRaHS in Illinois is coordinated by the Illinois
State Water Survey, the National Weather Service and the University
of Illinois Extension Natural Resources Management Team.
[Text from news release received from
Mary Moore, CoCoRaHS
coordinator in Logan County]