FORT COLLINS, Colo. — As the saying goes, the rain doesn’t fall the same on all.
That’s why citizen volunteers tracking rain and snow are invaluable to understanding the distribution and amount of precipitation in a given area. With simple gauges in their backyards, citizens fill in gaps that even the fanciest NASA satellites cannot detect.
The Colorado Climate Center’s Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) invites new members to join the collective precipitation count. Sign up to be a volunteer before March 31, and help your state win the CoCoRaHS Cup. It’s awarded each year to the state with the most new observers who sign up in March.
It’s CoCoRaHS’ version of “March Madness,” an annual tradition that engages states in friendly competition to recruit more volunteers.
CoCoRaHS started 20 years ago at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, following a devastating flood. Its aim is to provide an accurate accounting of local and regional precipitation data to help meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers and many others. Today, CoCoRaHS has more than 20,000 volunteers across the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas.
All you need to participate is an approved rain gauge. Volunteers do not need to report every day – just when it’s convenient for them.
— Anne Manning, Colorado State University
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