Observing the Weather


If you want to help out the National Weather Service and your community on a daily basis, there are several ways you can observe the weather and report it.

A popular citizen weather observation program is called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, also known as CoCoRaHS.

CoCoRaHS:
Because Every Drop Counts!

Rain and snowfall amounts can vary widely from location to location. There are days when your house will stay dry, but your neighbor across the street has an afternoon downpour! While the National Weather Service has specialized equipment in the field to report rain and snow totals, they are sometimes too far apart to detect these localized situations. That is why we need you to fill in the gaps. Precipitation observers are needed across Wisconsin and we are looking for volunteer observers for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. You don’t need to be a scientist to join; anyone with an interest in weather can become a CoCoRaHS observer. All you need is a 4 inch rain gauge and to complete some simple online training. If you would like to volunteer, please follow the links below for more information on the program, training, necessary equipment, and how to join. Your participation would be greatly appreciated, and remember: every drop counts!

 


Citizen Weather
Observer Program

Do you own a personal home weather station and a computer with a dedicated connection to the Internet, such as fiber, DSL or cable? If you do, the National Weather Service and local television meteorologists would love to see your data! The NWS can ingest your frequently-posted weather data into our data and display systems, which can not only improve computer model data (and subsequent weather forecasts) for your area, but also makes the NWS and local television meteorologists aware of micro-climates (unique temperature, wind and precipitation patterns) specific to your local area.

Posting your data online is relatively quick and simple if you own a weather station that is capable of interfacing with a computer. If your weather station and accompanying computer software has this functionality (check the instruction manuals), and you have dedicated connection to the Internet, read on for some more information on how you can send your data out to the world!

So how do you get your weather data online? The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a private-public partnership with three main goals: 1) to collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their data quality.

If you are interested in improving weather forecasts, and want your data to play a role in the overall NWS watch/warning/forecast process, or be used by your local television meteorologist in their forecast process and current condition presentation, then navigate to the CWOP link above and become a member of CWOP. Read and follow the instructions to become a CWOP member, as well as for your weather station and weather software. Once you acquire a CWOP identification (ID), set up your weather software/station to send your data! This is usually a very quick and relatively simple setup.


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