Volunteer Weather Observing Program Marks First Year

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network (CoCoRaHS) will begin its second year of operation in Illinois on December 1st.  More than 600 volunteers registered to participate in the first year of the program in Illinois. These volunteers now provide more than 200 additional precipitation reports a day in Illinois, a valuable supplement to observations from the National Weather Service Cooperative Observers.

CoCoRaHS volunteers also submit reports on hail and heavy rain which are used by the National Weather Service to monitor the potential for severe weather or flash flooding.

CoCoRaHS is a non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow).

“For those interested in the weather or the environment, CoCoRaHS is a great opportunity to be involved in an activity that is easy and fun to do, is beneficial to the local community, and is an activity where you can learn more about how weather impacts our daily lives,” says Steve Hilberg, Illinois Co-Coordinator for CoCoRaHS. “We are looking for volunteers in every Illinois county and welcome anyone who wants to participate.” 

The aim of the CoCoRaHS is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications by using low-cost measurement tools, and stressing training and education. Precipitation information is available to anyone through the CoCoRaHS web site.

Illinois was the 13th state to join the CoCoRaHS network. The network has now grown to include more than 6,500 volunteers in 26 states, and more states will be joining the program in 2008. CoCoRaHS in Illinois is coordinated by the Illinois State Water Survey, the National Weather Service, and the University of Illinois Extension Natural Resources Management Team.

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