Climate Resources for Gardeners

By Susan Littlefield

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS, is a non-profit, community-based network of volunteers who work together to measure and map precipitation of all kinds, with the goal of providing high quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. The National Weather Service and other meteorologists, hydrologists, city utilities involved in water supply, water conservation, storm water management, mosquito control programs, ranchers and farmers, teachers and students are just some of the organizations and individuals that visit their Web site and make use of their data. The network's sponsors include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), along with a number of other organizations.

Volunteers are collecting data in all fifty states; there is information on the website if you'd like to join their ranks. There is also climate information, including a state newsletter, on climate for every state. Check the site for the CoCoRaHS Message of the Day or read meterologist Chris Spear's blog for some interesting weather-related information.

Of special interest to gardeners is their online publication Climate Resources for Master Gardeners, which presents information on aspects of climate important to gardeners, such as sunshine, temperature, microclimates, humidity and dew point, precipitation, wind, evapotranspiration, and climate change. It also lists national and state sources for more climate information.

To read about climate resources or find out how to volunteer, go to CoCoRaHS.

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