More CoCoRaHS Volunteers Needed

CoCoRaHs Continues to Grow in South Dakota


The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, also known as CoCoRaHS, is rapidly spreading across the United States and getting bigger all the time in South Dakota.  Even though we're continuing to grow, we can still use more volunteers.  So, if you're interested in becoming part of CoCoRaHS...Read on...


CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow).   By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, CoCoRaHS aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.


Where did the CoCoRaHS Network originate??

The network originated with the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University in 1998 thanks in part to the Fort Collins flood a year prior.  In the years since, CoCoRaHS has expanded rapidly with over 3,500 observers in seventeen states. Folks in many parts of the country have shown interest in having their state join the CoCoRaHS Network in the not too distant future.


Who can participate??

This is a community project.  Everyone can help, young, old, and in-between.  The only requirements are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can effect and impact our lives.

What will our volunteer observers be doing??

Each time a rain, hail or snow storm crosses your area, volunteers take measurements of precipitation from as many locations as possible.  These precipitation reports are then recorded on our Web site The data are then displayed and organized for many of our end users to analyze and apply to daily situations ranging from water resource analysis and severe storm warnings to neighbors comparing how much rain fell in their backyards.


Who uses CoCoRaHS??

CoCoRaHS is used by a wide variety of organizations and individuals.  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 are just some examples of those who visit our Web site and use our data.

What do we hope to accomplish??

CoCoRaHS has several goals. 1) provide accurate high-quality precipitation data for our many end users on a timely basis; 2) increasing the density of precipitation data available throughout the country by encouraging volunteer weather observing; 3) encouraging citizens to have fun participating in meteorological science and heightening their awareness about weather; 4) providing enrichment activities in water and weather resources for teachers, educators and the community at large to name a few. 

What benefits are there in volunteering??

One of the neat things about participating in this network is coming away with the feeling that you have made an important contribution that helps others.  By providing your daily observation, you help to fill in a piece of the weather puzzle that affects many across your area in one way or another. You also will have the chance to make some new friends as you do something important and learn some new things along the way. In some areas, activities are organized for network participants including training sessions, field trips, special speakers, picnics, pot-luck dinners, and photography contests just to name a few.


How can I sign up??


Look for additional information on how to sign up to participate in the very near future. South Dakota hopes to begin their network in June of this year. In the meantime, be sure to visit the CoCoRaHS website to learn more about this exciting new opportunity.




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