Got Weather?

August 3rd, 2009 by Adam

A nationwide effort to gather important weather data is underway in New Hampshire. Plymouth State University (PSU) is seeking volunteers for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), whose goal is to encourage citizens to have fun participating in meteorological science and to gather accurate high-quality precipitation data for the National Weather Service and others. Brendon Hoch, Technology Manager at PSU’s Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute, said the program is just getting underway in the Granite State.

“It’s an opportunity to get involved in science that can improve our understanding of the atmosphere and result in more accurate predictions of snowfall and rainfall,” Hoch said.

The citizen-driven CoCoRaHS program will depend on residents becoming amateur observers by measuring and reporting rainfall, hail and snow data in their own backyards. Potential volunteers can learn more about this unique and exciting opportunity at a training event at Plymouth State’s Boyd Science Center, August 18, Room 306 at 7 p.m.

Hoch said the volunteers will be a key part of improving weather forecasting around the country.

“The community collaborative rain hail and snow network is an opportunity for citizens to contribute to better understanding of local weather conditions and improve forecasts,” said Hoch.

Why is it important to monitor precipitation? Precipitation is important in many aspects of weather forecasting, and there is a need for more precipitation reporting to add critical data to the nation’s network of reporting stations. The data can help improve and verify the accuracy and timeliness of flood warnings and forecasts. This data allows CoCoRaHS to supplement existing networks and provide many useful results to scientists, resource managers and decision makers.

Volunteers report their daily observations on the interactive Web site: CoCoRaHS
The goal is to have one observer per square mile in urban areas and one observer per 25 square miles in rural areas. Hoch noted a modest investment is needed to participate in the program.

“The time commitment is for one season and a financial commitment will be a $23 rain gauge.”

Here is a list of upcoming training and orientation meetings in New Hampshire.

August 18 Boyd Science Center (3rd Floor), Plymouth State University,
Plymouth NH Grafton 7 p.m.

August 19 Ahern Building, Sullivan County Complex, Unity NH Sullivan 7 p.m.

August 20 Plymouth State University Graduate School, 2 Pillsbury St.
(5th Floor), Concord, NH Merrimack 7 p.m.

August 25 Mount Washington Weather Discovery Center, 2779 Main Street, North Conway, NH Carroll 6 p.m.

September 3 Nesmith Library, 8 Fellows Road, Windham, NH Rockingham 7 p.m.

September 10 UNH, Huddleston G10, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH Strafford 7 p.m.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or