WERA 1012:

Managing and Utilizing Precipitation Observations from Volunteer Networks” Annual Conference

May 23-25, 2011


The year’s conference will be in conjunction with NOAA’s Snow Workshop (May 25 -27, 2011).  NOAA Snow Workshop

WERA attendees are welcome to stay-on to attend the NOAA workshop  (and vise-versa for NOAA attendees), as much of what will be discussed will be of interest and benefit to our audience.  One registration fee covers both meetings.

WERA 1012’s purpose is to offer a forum where attendees can discuss and strategize how to manage, educate, maintain, and improve volunteer weather observer networks used to collect valuable precipitation data here in the U.S.  This includes the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Network, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, as well as other existing local, regional and state volunteer networks

In 2008 an initial team with shared interests in improved precipitation monitoring and citizen participation proposed a new coordinating committee within the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.  The project was approved for a five-year period and we will be holding our annual technical committee meeting this upcoming May in Estes Park, Colorado.  At the conference, we will continue to expound upon our goals for improved precipitation monitoring and analysis.  Additional annual meetings will be held in 2012 and 2013.

This year’s 2011 WERA 1012 Meeting will look at the future initiatives for CoCoRaHS under their new NOAA and NSF grants; give a perspective on CoCoRaHS by various state leaders; visit the successes, failures and lessons of established precipitation networks; look at the current state of the COOP program and plans for it’s 125 Anniversary; and see how volunteer precipitation data is being used.  The meeting will conclude with reports from the seven WERA 1012 subcommittees and provide for discussion on  a variety of CoCoRaHS issues.

                     THE CONFERENCE WILL BEGIN IN:

More on the NOAA Snow Workshop:

What will be going on at the NOAA Snow Workshop?  The primary focus of NOAA's Snow Workshop is on meeting FEMA requirements for snowfall information to support assessments of extreme snowfall events as part of FEMA's snow disaster declaration process. We also are taking this opportunity to include the aviation community so that their requirements regarding snowfall measurements and reporting can be discussed and potential solutions identified. The focus will be on identifying changes to NOAA policies and practices which can implemented in advance of the 2011-2012 winter season as well as longer-term initiatives which need to be established to improve snowfall data and products delivery. Recommendations to FEMA regarding best practices for the use of NOAA and non-NOAA snowfall observations also will be developed. The workshop is designed around a series of presentations in plenary followed by breakout discussions to identify problems and recommended solutions. Additional information is available at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/snow-and-ice/workshops/2011/ .


The Conference

Our annual conference will be held May 23-25, 2011 at the YMCA of the Rockies in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.  Just minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the most picturesque settings in the United States.  This year’s conference will be in conjunction with the NOAA Snow Workshop (May 25-27).  Attendees are encouraged to attend and participate in both meetings.  We hope that you can join us!