Colorado State University’s Community Collaborative Rain and Hail Study, or CoCo RaHS, is inviting weather-watching volunteers to an information and training session from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Colorado State Foothills campus on West Laporte Avenue in the Atmospheric Science Building, Room AT101. CoCo RaHS relies on volunteers to improve precipitation monitoring throughout seven counties in the Denver-Metro area. The training session is free and open to the public.
CoCo RaHS provides detailed drought and other water decision-making information to municipalities, home owners, industry, agriculture, utility providers, resource managers and educators. CoCo RaHS information is updated daily and available for free public access on the Web at www.cocorahs.org.
Although CoCo RaHS has been gathering data in the Denver area for three years, many more weather observers are needed throughout metro Denver to accurately measure and describe storm patterns. CoCo RaHS’ goal is to have one volunteer per square mile in the metro area, more than tripling the number of weather observers currently in the region. This dense coverage is needed to assess how storms form and move across the area and to pinpoint the localized wet and dry spots in the region.
The National Weather Service operates a network of official measurement stations in Colorado. However, these stations are too far apart to provide an accurate picture of statewide storm precipitation totals. Daily results evaluated by CoCo RaHS’s 900 active volunteers show a much more accurate picture of storm and drought patterns.
Each time a rain or hail storm occurs, volunteers take measurements of precipitation using high-quality, back yard gauges. Precipitation reports and observer notes are transmitted via telephone or the Internet to the Climate Center each day. Daily updated maps of rain, snow and hail are automatically generated and used by scientists and resource managers to learn how storms develop and move and to make water-use decisions.
For more information or to register for the session, visit www.cocorahs.org or call the CoCo RaHS office at (970) 491-8545.