Who Uses CoCoRaHS Observations?
YES, IT REALLY IS TRUE! Your observations are used every day!
Almost daily someone asks the question, "who cares about and who uses the observations from CoCoRaHS volunteers?” It must be hard to fathom that precipitation data is so useful and that backyard rain gauges have a place of importance in national and global climate monitoring in the 21st Century. But the fact is, it’s true. Your rainfall reports -- including your reports of zero precipitation – are very valuable and are being used EVERY DAY. Every morning many organizations pull data from the CoCoRaHS database at least every hour to get all the latest reports as they come in. They wish all CoCoRaHS observers submitted their reports right away.
When you see forecasts of river stages and flood levels on the Missouri, the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Colorado River or most anywhere else in the country -- guess what data are helping the forecasters make these forecasts? Yes, timely CoCoRaHS data!
Your reports of hail or heavy rain may trigger the NWS to issue severe thunderstorm or flash flood warnings. In cases of extreme localized storms, your local report could help save lives.
Don’t let all this “importance” frighten you. The weight is not all on observers shoulders. The real value comes from having thousands of volunteers reporting from all over. So keep up the good work, and go out and find more weather enthusiasts to help measure, map and track the amazingly variable patterns of precipitation.
A key reason that CoCoRaHS data are so useful is because the rain gauge used by CoCoRaHS volunteers – the 4-inch diameter, 11.30” capacity clear plastic rain gauge is very good. Under most circumstances, this type of gauge performs as well as the official National Weather Service Standard Rain Gauge that has been used for over 120 years documenting our nation’s climate. Most CoCoRaHS volunteers have found representative locations to mount their gauge to get very high quality readings. The CoCoRaHS gauge, if installed and used properly, provides very accurate readings. CoCoRaHS volunteers tend to be very interested and very committed to careful and high-quality observations. As a result, the data are usually excellent for a wide range of uses.
Over the next ten weeks, we will look at some of the major users of your observations. Stay tuned as we begin to highlight our ten most obvious (or perhaps not so obvious) categories. Please visit our WHO USES COCORAHS OBSERVATIONS? page, where we will continue to update a summary of this series. Thanks for your very, very useful observations!
2015 CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge Calendars now on sale! Order one today
The long awaited 2015 CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge calendars are now on sale! We hope that you will consider purchasing one today. Our artistic, bookstore quality calendar features over fifty photos by fellow precipitation observers displaying their gauges in a variety of settings. It truly is a work of art that you won’t find anywhere else. Click here for a closer look: VIEW THE CALENDAR
The last time we offered our calendar in 2011 an observer wrote: “"Thank you so much for the CoCoRaHS calendar. It arrived well packed. It is superb! Better than I expected. The company you all chose to print this up did a fabulous job. I know that once my family sees it, they will all want a copy!" Believe it or not, the 2015 version is our best yet!
The calendars sell at a reasonable price with a portion of each purchase going toward the CoCoRaHS Network. Just click on the banner at the top of the page or click ORDER A CALENDAR to place your order today. We hope you’ll enjoy the calendar throughout the year ahead.
Thanks for supporting the CoCoRaHS Network!