Community-Based Weather Reporting

By Charlie Nardozzi

Gardeners are keenly interested in the weather, and for good reason. Floods, droughts, hail, and snowstorms can spell disaster for many plants. While weather forecasting has become more sophisticated in recent years, there's still a need for more data. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) has been formed to provide it.

CoCoRaHS is a community-based nonprofit run by volunteers who measure and map precipitation patterns across the country. Volunteers use low-cost measurement tools to collect data, which they share online to help the National Weather Service, farmers, hydrologists, emergency managers, and others monitor rainfall patterns and make weather predictions. Each time it rains, hails, or snows, volunteers measure the amount of the precipitation in their yards and record the data online. There are more than 6,500 observers in 26 states, and the list is expanding monthly.

To find out more about this weather-reporting program and to sign up, go to: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network .

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