Colorado Climate Center researchers from Colorado State University will display and discuss weather conditions and trends at the annual National Western Stock Show on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
On display will be drought updates, maps of recent and historic precipitation, information on hail and severe weather and a variety of other weather-related information. Scientists will be on hand to discuss recent statewide precipitation levels and look at how Colorado’s climate has changed over the past 100 years.
The Climate Center also will be on the lookout for weather-watching volunteers to join the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS.
Climatologists will be at the Colorado State booth at the stock show. The booth is in the southeast corner of the third floor of the Expo Hall at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver.
"We look forward to these opportunities to talk about our weather and climate and show people how we monitor the climate. We also want them to know how they can help us track storms and precipitation patterns," said Nolan Doesken, research climatologist at Colorado State University’s Colorado Climate Center and director of CoCoRaHS Network. "We always wind up meeting hundreds of enthusiastic people loaded with questions and suggestions.
"Volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate," Doesken said. "We already have hundreds of volunteers across Colorado helping map and track Colorado storms, but we need hundreds more, especially from rural areas of Colorado and surrounding states. It only takes a couple of minutes each day to participate in this project – it’s fun and it really makes a difference."
Through the CoCoRaHS 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.
Winter is an especially critical time for the program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and charter sponsors.
"We know winter snow measurements are a little more challenging," said Henry Reges, national coordinator for the CoCoRaHS Network. "But by measuring carefully and accurately, we are able to track the fascinating storm patterns that eventually determine what plants grow, whether we have water to drink or where we can travel safely."
To volunteer as a weather watcher or for more information, go to www.cocorahs.org or contact Reges at (970) 491-1196 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the partnership between Colorado State University and the National Western Stock Show. The university has had an intimate role with the stock show since showing the first grand champion steer in 1906.