CoCoRaHS is much more than a funny name. It is a group of volunteers that is reshaping the world of Meteorology and future forecasts one observation at a time. CoCoRaHS is an acronym that stands for Community Collaborative Rainfall Hail and Snow Network. It is a grassroots volunteer network of backyard weather observers of all ages. Arkansas has only been apart of the network for about a year and a half, but all ready the state has over 200 weather observers. The volunteer network has now stretched to all 50 states with 32,725 volunteers and over 10 million observations recorded.
How does it work?
Everyday thousands of volunteers check their rain gauge and/or measure newly fallen snowfall. Then they log on to the CoCoRaHS site and type in their new observation. The site then displays all of the precipitation data from across the country.
How observations are used?
The precipitation records are kept on the site and the data is free to anyone. You can look at today’s rainfall or search through the data base for prior events. This rainfall data is giving Meteorologists and Researchers a high-resolution snapshot of precipitation events. Here at 40/29 TV we will use some of these rain and snow totals to use on TV and here on the blog. The data becomes extremely useful during snow and flooding events. Researchers are able to use this information to help improve numerical computer models. This in turn will help to provide more accurate forecasts, more specifically it should provide for better precipitation forecasts. As an observer you can also track your precipitation totals over time on the CoCoRaHS website.
Interested in signing up?
The only thing you need is a passion for weather and an offical rain gauge to get started. There are a few training slide shows and lots of information on the CoCoRaHS website. http://www.cocorahs.org/
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