Precipitation observers wanted by The Weather Authority, NWS, weather community

Precipitation observers wanted by The Weather Authority, NWS, weather community (WKRC/Scott Dimmich)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If you're enthusiastic about weather then The Weather Authority, the National Weather Service and the weather enterprise invite you to join a nationwide network of precipitation observers.

"CoCoRaHS is the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, and it's a community based network of volunteers who measure precipitation in their backyard," said National Weather Service Meteorologist and co-state coordinator for CoCoRaHS Ashley Novak.

While radar can help meteorologists estimate how much rain has fallen in a given area, CoCoRaHS can help fill-in the gaps or give meteorologists additional ground truth information.

"Even though we have hundreds of observers in the area, it's still important to more observers because precipitation is so highly variable," said Novak.

Hydrometeorologists, who produce river level forecasts, also depend on accurate precipitation amounts so they can make accurate forecasts.

"The radar is very high resolution; the gauge data is not. So you want as many quality gauges as possible," said Jeff Myers, a NOAA hydrometeorologist.

Researchers and meteorologists will process the reports received, timely and accurate reports come from those love weather, like CoCoRaHS observer Pat Maley of Delhi Township.

"When I was in scouts as a kid, I used to work at a scout camp, and I was 'the weather girl.' I'd take my unit and we'd go out and look at the web-bulb and the dry-bulb thermometer and predict the weather for the day. It's just always been something that was fun," explained Maley.

Maley has participated in the program for several years. She participates because CoCoRaHS gives her the ability to help a larger community.

Maley said, "It's fun. I feel like as a weather spotter, you're used occasionally, so this is a way of reporting weather and knowing that it's going to the weather services, and it helps people know and predict weather."

The National Weather Service will hold an online CoCoRaHS training session on Tuesday, March 28th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. More information on this session is here:

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