|Volunteeers needed for important nationwide Rain and Snow Network|
|Wednesday, 07 March 2012 20:41|
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is expanding across Indiana and new volunteers are needed. This nationwide project, located online at HUhttp://www.cocorahs.orgUH, offers an opportunity for anyone, young or old, to become a volunteer observer of rain and snow. Data collected by volunteer observers will help many local, state and national organizations improve weather forecasts and warnings, ultimately helping save lives.
The National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office, the Indiana State Climate Office at Purdue, and the Whitley County Amateur Radio Club will host a CoCoRaHS training session on March 22 at 7 p.m. The training will take place at Peabody Library (lower level Community Room A) 1106 East State Road 205 Columbia City, IN. This hands-on session, lasting around 90 minutes, will educate volunteer observers on how to accurately set up and read their rain gauges and report the data via the Internet. There is no cost for the training. However, observers will need to purchase their own rain gauge to participate.
CoCoRaHS came to Indiana in February of 2006 and now has over 900 observers of all ages from across the Hoosier State. Indiana was one of the first states in the Midwest to join this nationwide network of over 10,000 volunteers.
CoCoRaHS is a volunteer, grass-roots network dedicated to the monitoring of precious water resources across the country. Organizations involved in agriculture, public safety, and natural resources management will find great benefit from this data, available free of charge to all on the network website.
CoCoRaHS also represents an important new portion of nationwide drought monitoring and warning networks for flood monitoring and prediction services. Sam Lashley, Northern Indiana network coordinator and Senior Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office, says that the project will help forecasters pin point areas of drought, heavy rain and potential flooding. “Flooding kills more people each year than tornadoes. CoCoRaHS observers have provided valuable rainfall observations in the past which have helped forecasters determine how high rivers would crest and where flooding would occur,” said Lashley.
Hundreds of extremely interested volunteers statewide have signed up and the benefits have been tremendous across the Hoosier State. According to Lashley, “Volunteers have included senior citizens, children with an interest in science, adult weather enthusiasts, and even schools and home schooled children.”
Attendance at this training session is free, and open to any interested resident of the state of Indiana. Additional information can be found at HUhttp://www.crh.noaa.gov/iwx/?n=iwxcocorahsUH or HUhttp://www.cocorahs.orgUH. Interested volunteers are asked to register prior to training by contacting Sam Lashley at the National Weather Service office in Northern Indiana (HUSam.Lashley@noaa.govUH), or by calling 574-834-1104.
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