Be A Backyard Rain Counter. Help Science
March 19, 2018
Message from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network:
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a grassroots, non-profit, community-based, high-density precipitation database network made up of volunteers who take measurements of precipitation right in their own backyards. CoCoRaHS has observers in all 50 states nationwide, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the family islands of the Bahamas, and in Canada.
Texas CoCoRaHS needs volunteers who have an interest in weather observing and who would enjoy observing and reporting daily precipitation amounts on our website. Volunteers are asked to obtain an official CoCoRaHS scientific rain gauge and place it in a strategic location. They take daily precipitation measurements at approximately the same time – usually 7 a.m. – and record those measurements. Daily reporting of data is preferred, as days without precipitation are just as important to know as days with rainfall.
Many agencies rely on precipitation data collected by CoCoRaHS during and after rainfall and flood events to determine where the most rain has fallen and where the potential for flooding is greatest. CoCoRaHS’s volunteer precipitation reports help to fill in the gaps between official rainfall data collection sites in our region, such as the Harris County Flood Control District’s Flood Warning System, the National Weather Service’s climate sites, and the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Hydromet system.
The data reported by volunteers is organized and displayed on the CoCoRaHS website for use by scientists, researchers, and emergency managers – as well as the general public. The Harris County Flood Control District, National Weather Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and West Gulf River Forecast Center utilize CoCoRaHS data in their work, along with engineers, meteorologists, hydrologists, climatologists, insurance adjusters, ranchers and farmers, and many more.
The Houston/Galveston region of the CoCoRaHS Network consists of volunteers in 15 counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Jackson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Waller, and Wharton counties. The network needs many more volunteers to better measure precipitation across the region. Weather hobbyists and those citizens who measure daily rainfall totals such as Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists are strongly encouraged to join CoCoRaHS.
To join, go to the CoCoRaHS website and click on the “Join CoCoRaHS” emblem in the upper right corner of the homepage. The website also has information on the organization’s background, observer training and educational tools, where to purchase the required CoCoRaHS rain gauge, how and where to set up the gauge on your property, and much more.
Please take a moment to tell a friend or neighbor about this exciting grassroots effort of citizens measuring precipitation right in their own backyards. It’s easy to join, takes only five minutes a day, and is a fun way to learn about this wonderful natural resource that falls from the sky. Your observations continue to give scientists an ever clearer picture of where and how much precipitation falls throughout our communities.
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