Nolan from Colorado State University wants you to know about CoCoRaHS, a fun and simple citizen science activity for the weather enthusiast. Volunteers send in backyard rain, hail and snow observations to scientists who measure and track the data. The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities (water supply, water conservation, storm water), insurance adjusters, USDA, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor & recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community use the data.
Nolan tells me that by “late 2009, CoCoRaHS will be in the single largest source for U.S. daily precipitation data, thanks to the power of volunteers.”
Location: Close to home; Outdoors.
Level of Difficulty: More complicated than I expected but once you’ve purchased (and assembled) the equipment and had a chat with the regional coordinator, the easy (and fun) parts begin.
Fee: Costs about $25 to buy the necessary equipment. (The organizers do all they can to ensure accurate data collection and proper equipment plays a big role there.)
Gear: Special measurer (see above). Computer.
Duration: Once you have the equipment, it’ll take about an hour to build it out. Then, just wait for some rain, hail or snow! Record precipitations 7am, daily for as long as you’d like to participate.