For the third year in a row, the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University and the National Weather Service are teaming up Jan. 27-29 to display and discuss weather conditions, climate trends and forecasting, as well as to provide advice to Colorado’s agricultural community, at the annual Colorado Farm Show at the Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley.
On display will be drought updates, long-range forecasts, maps of recent and historic precipitation, information on hail and severe weather and a variety of other weather-related information. Professional meteorologists will be available to answer questions about Colorado’s weather and climate. Scientists from the Colorado State University CHILL Radar, a research facility near Greeley that investigates Colorado storms, also will be on hand to answer questions.
"We first came to the Farm Show in 2002 looking for an opportunity to display some of our recent work and see if we could recruit a few volunteers to help track and report severe storms and precipitation patterns for Colorado State’s CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain and Hail Study) program," said Nolan Doesken, research climatologist at Colorado State’s Colorado Climate Center and director of CoCo RaHS. "We had no idea if anyone would be interested, but ended up meeting hundreds of enthusiastic people loaded with questions and suggestions."
"This year, we decided to get a larger booth with more room to display weather maps and information on severe weather in Colorado," added Bob Glancy, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the Denver-Boulder office of the National Weather Service. "We’ll also be able to help interested citizens get involved in our severe weather spotter program. Spotters are a critical part of the severe weather warning program in Colorado."
On Jan. 28, the Colorado Climate Center will be hosting a special program at the Bunkhouse (north of the Farm Show complex) from 3-5 p.m. Doesken will discuss rain, snow and hail, and how volunteers can help scientists track and study storms.
"Volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate," Doesken said. "We have hundreds of volunteers across Colorado helping map and track Colorado storms, but we need many more, especially in eastern Colorado and surrounding states. It only takes a couple minutes each day, it is fun and it really makes a difference."
Through the CoCo RaHS science education, research and outreach project, the size, intensity, duration and patterns of rain, hail and snow storms are analyzed and documented by hundreds of volunteers throughout the state. The data gathered by volunteers provides important daily decision-making information for agriculture, industry, home water use, utility providers, insurance companies, resource managers and educators.
To learn more, go to the CoCoRaHS Web site at www.cocorahs.org or call (970) 491-1196. For more information about the Colorado Farm Show, visit the Web at www.coloradofarmshow.com.