Volunteer Rainfall Observers in Illinois Provide a Valuable Service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2014
"How much rain did you get?"
Every morning hundreds of volunteer rainfall observers in
Illinois head out to check their rain gauges, rain or shine. They report their measurements as part of a popular
national weather observation program. If you have any interest in the weather,
then this program may be for you.
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network (CoCoRaHS)
is a grassroots volunteer network of backyard weather observers of
all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation
(rain, hail and snow) in their local communities. The program started in Fort Collins, Colorado
in 1998 and now exists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 10,000 volunteers participate
nationwide. Volunteers enter their
observation on an interactive web site, and observations are immediately
viewable on maps or in tables. CoCoRaHS
observations can be viewed at www.cocorahs.org.
There are currently more than 500 observers across the state
of Illinois making and reporting daily rainfall and snow observations,
supplementing the observations made at airports and by NWS Cooperative
Observers. These observations are used
every day by the National Weather Service, private meteorologists and
climatologists, the media, civil engineers, municipalities, farmers, and many
others, including the general public.
"Variations in rain and snow really make a big difference
for agriculture, wildlife and water supplies," says Steve Hilberg, Illinois
CoCoRaHS Coordinator. "Getting involved as a volunteer CoCoRaHS observer is a
great way to give something back to your community by helping monitor its
natural resources. It's a lot of fun as well."
CoCoRaHS is looking for additional volunteers in southern
Illinois. In partnership with
University of Illinois Extension, CoCoRaHS will be holding an
information/training sessions in Mt. Vernon on March 12. There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration
is required by March 7.
The session will be held on Wednesday, March 12, at 6:30
p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Office, 4618 Broadway in Mt.
Vernon. To register for this session,
call (618) 548-1446.
To find out more about the CoCoRaHS program or to join, visit
www.cocorahs.org and click on the "Join
COCORAHS" link on the web page.