State Science Program Needs Public’s Help Observing The Weather

Do you ever wonder how much rainfall you received from a recent thunderstorm? How about snowfall during a winter storm? If so, an important volunteer weather observing program needs your help! The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network, or CoCoRaHS, is looking for new volunteers across Oklahoma. The grassroots effort is part of a growing national network of observers with the goal of providing a high density precipitation network that will supplement existing observations such as those collected by the Oklahoma Mesonet.

Scientists in Colorado created CoCoRaHS in 1998 in response to a devastating flash flood that occurred in Ft. Collins, Colorado. In July of 1997, a thunderstorm produced about a foot of rain in only a few hours, while other portions of the city received only modest rainfall. The resulting flooding caught some by surprise, so CoCoRaHS was developed to better observe these localized extreme precipitation events. As more volunteers participated across the country, rain, snow, and hail maps were produced for every storm. These maps showed fascinating local patterns that were of great interest to scientists, decision makers, and the public.

 

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